CLEVELAND — The FBI has issued a warning about scam calls. They are warning Northeast Ohioans not to fall victim to scams demanding money. It comes as there has been a surge in these types of calls.
“We’ve just seen a rash of them here in our area. In the last couple of weeks, said Special Agent Vicki Anderson, Cleveland FBI.
Scammers are calling, emailing, even faxing. According to Anderson, residents have been bilked out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and the scams are wide-ranging.
“I can’t say one specific scam because they are all over the place but we’ve seen a lot of them lately,” Anderson said.
One elderly woman wire transferred $130,000 over three months in a lottery scam. The woman was promised a prize of $2.5 million, according to the FBI.
A physician received a call saying the Department of Justice was suspending his medical license because numerous prescriptions were discovered in his name on them as the prescribing physician. The physician was sent faxes with the Department of Justice logos entitled, "Federal Bond and Protocol Agreement" and that his bank accounts were comprised by drug traffickers. The doctor agreed to the demands and paid about $188,000 to the scammers, according to the FBI.
Both of those examples are scams.
The types of fraud are wide-ranging. Social Security Administration, legal scams, lottery scams, scammers pretending to be from the IRS, DEA, and the FBI.
“The common denominator is these people are really quick and they want you to send money immediately. The government doesn’t do this. The FBI isn’t going to call you and tell you, you owe money. The social security administration is not going to call you and threaten to arrest you and you have to pay a fine,” Anderson said.
According to the FBI, individuals receiving these types of solicitations demanding money should discuss it with a trusted family member or friend, look the agency up online, obtain an actual phone number for the agency, call the agency and report the call, email, or pop up received. Report any suspicious solicitations online at www. ic3.gov.
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