INDIANA – Better Business Bureau (BBB) has received many calls regarding consumers receiving alarming phone calls from someone who claims to be from law enforcement or Social Security Administration.
The caller tells you that a car registered in your name has been found with drugs, money, and blood in it, or that your name is associated with a house that has been part of a recent drug raid. They proceed to tell you that you have charges of drug trafficking, money laundering, and potential homicide. You’re given an officer’s name, badge number, case number and told that there is a warrant for your arrest.
According to BBB Scam Tracker, this phishing scam is looking to obtain your personal information like address, financial information, date of birth, and social security number. Consumers have reported to BBB the scammer could verify the last four digits or full social security number and other personal information. The scammers claim they need this information to help track down the crooks or help you clear your record.
How to Avoid this Scam and other Government Imposter Scams:
Don’t give out your personal information over the phone. Even if the caller has part of your social security number or other personal information, it doesn’t mean the call is legitimate.
Do not trust your caller ID. Many scammers “spoof” phone numbers to make you trust them.
Know that government agencies DO NOT call unsolicited. Government agencies typically send letters if they need to contact a citizen.
Contact the government or law enforcement agency directly if in doubt. Use a number or website you know to be correct. SSA has stated that you can contact them if you receive a call from someone who claims to be an SSA employee at 1-800-772-1213 to verify.
If someone has tried to steal your personal information by pretending to be from a government agency, report it to the FTC and to BBB at bbb.org/scamtracker.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust. In 2018, people turned to BBB more than 173 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.4 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central Indiana, which was founded in 1916 and serves 46 counties.