PLEASE NOTE: We can only service cases inside the state of Texas!
The rapid development of online technology has been accompanied by an increase in the sophistication of criminals. However, in Texas, scammers are using one of the most traditional means of communication, the telephone.
Authorities warned Texas residents to be wary of a telephone scam that displays an FBI phone number on the caller ID, reported the Star-Telegram.
The report said the caller used threatening tactics to demand payment of money meant to be owed to the government.
FBI agents stated that neither the agency, the Internal Revenue Service or any another government official calls U.S. residents requesting money.
Federal agents said the callers know the background, name and personal cellphone number and other details of the intended victims.
FBI-Dallas spokeswoman Lauren Hagee denounced the calls as fraudulent and said people who receive calls should hang up immediately and tell law enforcement.
Scammers often carefully target the people they call. In some cases, university students in Texas were called and told they owed delinquent fees on their student loans.
In other cases, bogus FBI or IRS callers who were scammers demanded immediate payment on unpaid taxes or other government debts.
Five Ways to Detect a Scammer
The Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton published the following advice on how to identify a scammer.
1 – You were contacted. If you contact a business or make an order, you know who you are dealing with. If you deal with someone who contacted you, they know your details, placing you at an immediate disadvantage.
2 – They ask for personal information. If somebody requests information like your bank account details, date of birth or social security number, be very wary. You should not give away such details unless you confirm you are in a transaction with a trusted entity.
3 – They make you an offer. Nobody gives you anything for free. If you are offered a large sum of money like a prize or a loan, there is nearly always a catch. Avoid parties who offer these kinds of incentive.
4 – You have to pay them upfront. Often scammers will entice you with the promise of future riches but you have to make an investment first. In these cases, there may be no opportunity. Once they have your money, they can disappear.
5 You have to wire money. If the person you are dealing with wants you to wire money rather than mailing it, it’s usually a scam. The Office of the Attorney General says this tactic is intended to avoid the harsh penalties for mail fraud and you are about to become a victim.
The Office of the Attorney General recommends avoiding a con artist’s schemes by reading, The Five Tricks of a Con Artist.
While there are many organized scammers in Texas, some people can attract suspicion when they are doing nothing wrong. Alternatively, an enterprise may make a mistake, be naïve or not realize it is not following the rules. If this happens to you, you should call on an experienced Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.