CAIR-WA has been receiving increased reports of individuals receiving calls from people falsely identifying themselves as representatives of various governmental organizations. These scam callers state they are from departments such as the ICE, FBI, IRS, the US Marshal, etc.
The intention of this scam is to scare and pressure those they’ve called into providing personal identification information, such as birthdays, emails, credit card numbers and social security numbers, which they can then use to steal their victim’s identities.
Below are some common stories and questions that these scammers use. Be cautious of unsolicited calls and never provide personal data to these strangers over the phone.
*Scammers claim that your identity has been stolen and they must now verify your personal data over the phone. No governmental agency will request personal data over the phone.
*Scammers will claim they are with a law enforcement entity and you are in big trouble for breaking a law. They will state that you must pay a fine or law enforcement will show up at your door and arrest you. These calls can be exceptionally intimidating because these scammers can reroute the call so that it looks like the call is coming from your nearby FBI office. The scammer will most likely reference this by telling you to look up the number they are calling from as confirmation of their identity. The FBI will never ask for money over the phone- or hopefully ever.
*Scammers will claim to be representatives from the IRS. These scammers will claim that they’ve tried to reach you via certified mail and the letters were returned as undeliverable. They will claim that you owe some amount of money and that you must pay it immediately to not be arrested. The IRS will not request payment over the phone.
How to report specific scam attempts:
FBI Impersonation Call your local FBI field office In Washington, the Seattle Division: 206-622-0460 (select option 1)
IRS Impersonation Fill out the IRS Impersonation scam form on TIGTA’s website: https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml
Marshal Impersonation Call your local U.S. Marshals Service field office In Washington: 206-370-8685
In addition, all types of fraud schemes and scams can always be reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): www.ic3.gov.
The following information is helpful to report:
Header information from email messages
Identifiers for the perpetrator (e.g., name, Web site, bank account, e-mail addresses)
Details on how, why, and when you believe you were defrauded
Actual and attempted loss amounts
Details about the government impersonation
Other relevant information you believe is necessary to support your complaint.
Learn about other common scams:
Learn how to reduce your risk of being scammed:
Below is the FBI’s guidance on how to respond to these calls. This has been CAIR-WA’s main resource thus far for referring scam victims to appropriate organizations for reporting: