Scammers steal in the name of the law

Badges sold by German company that was shut down by the FBI. (Photo: Kevin Rowson/ WXIA)


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There are a number of scams out there that try and frighten you into giving the bad guys money, with the criminals using the threat of arrest and jail to take away your hard-earned cash.

Most of these scams use the phone because it’s much easier to fool you if you can’t see the scammer.

HOMELAND SECURITY SCAM

You get a call with an ID that’s been manipulated to look like it’s from the Inspector General’s Hotline at Homeland Security.

To make it look official if you try and check, the number they show, 800-323-8603 is real, but the allegations are fake.

The scammers say they’re with immigration and your identity has been stolen and you need to verify some personal information.

Once you tell them that, you become the victim of identity theft because they’ve got your birthday, social security and credit card or bank account information.

Real Homeland Security agents don’t call to ask personal information. If they need it, they already have access to it.

The IRS Tax scam

This is a variation on other IRS ploys. In this one a caller says that two certified letters to you about back taxes were returned as undeliverable.

The caller says you’re going to jail, but if you just give him a credit card number, he can fix the whole thing up right over the phone.

The only think he’s fixing to do is steal your money.

The FBI scam

Again, you get a phone call whose ID has been manipulated to look like it’s from the FBI and they start fast talking you about a federal regulatory statute you violated. It all sounds very official.

The fake FBI agent says you’ve got to pay a fine or you’ll go to jail. He says needs a bank account or credit card number to settle your fine otherwise, local agents are on their way to your house with handcuffs.

If you give him that info, the only place these guys are on the way to is the bank, with your money.

Real FBI agents don’t call people asking them to pay fines. The FBI is not a collection agency.

Badges? Badges? Remember scammers don’t need no stinkin’ badges to steal your money.

Email CBS North Carolina’s Steve Sbraccia if you have a consumer issue.

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