Phone scams by which someone calls you posing as a governmental agent threatening dire consequences unless you pay money have probably been around for as long as there have been phones, however they seem to be occurring in much greater frequency with more and more people falling victims to these scams. Calls purporting to be from the IRS threatening serious action unless a payment is made have been a particular lucrative scam lately. Now the FBI field office in Atlanta is issuing a warning of phone scams particularly specifically targeting college students. In these calls, the scammer threatens the student with arrest or not graduating if they do not pay various phony claims that may include student loans, taxes or even parking tickets. Making the matter worse is that using a technique called “spoofing” which can trick your Caller ID, some of the calls in which the caller claims he is an FBI agent actually appear as if they are coming from the Atlanta field office of the FBI.
It is important to remember that regardless of what your Caller ID may indicate, you can never be sure as to who is really on the other end of the line when you receive a phone call. It is easy to spot a phony IRS collection call because the IRS does not initiate contact with you by phone, email or text message to collect overdue taxes. If you receive such a call and think that the call might possibly be legitimate, you should merely hang up and contact the real company or agency at a telephone number that you know is legitimate to inquire as to whether or not the call you received was a scam. These calls generally also ask for payments to be wired, which is almost always an indication that the claim is a scam because scammers prefer money to be wired because wired money is almost impossible to trace and get back after the scam is discovered.