The FBI Omaha Field Office is warning the public to be on alert for a phone scam that spoofs, or fraudulently displays, the FBI’s telephone number on the victim’s caller ID.
The scammer impersonates a government official and uses intimidation tactics, such as the threat of arrest, to demand payment of money. These claims are false and the calls are NOT from the FBI.
The FBI Omaha Field Office has seen its main number, (402) 493-8688, spoofed in this manner recently, as well as the numbers of its Resident Agencies, or satellite offices, throughout Nebraska and Iowa. Citizens nationwide have been targeted.
The FBI defines this type of scam as government impersonation fraud, in which criminals impersonate government officials in an attempt to collect money. In some cases, the intended target may be told there is a federal warrant for their arrest, which would be dismissed by the court in exchange for immediate payment to the caller.
“The public should be aware that the FBI will not call or email people to demand money or threaten arrest,” said Special Agent in Charge Kristi K. Johnson.
The FBI strongly encourages anyone contacted by a caller who says they are with the FBI or any government agency to verify the information with their local FBI Field Office or the government agency in question. Contact information for all 56 FBI field offices can be found at www.fbi.gov.
According to the Internet Crimes Complaint Center (IC3), more than 12,000 people nationwide have reported being victims of government impersonation scams in 2019, with losses totaling over $112,000,000. Anyone who feels they were the victim of this or any other online scam should report the incident immediately using the IC3 website at www.ic3.gov.