The person who is calling you is not from the FBI, no matter what it says on your phone, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The FBI Houston Division reports it has received reports from across the state of people answering their cell phone because the Caller ID shows the words FBI or US MARSHAL, or the phone number of the agencies.
They are then greeted with an official sounding voice, complete with made up name and badge number, and even dropping the name of a real federal judge or other federal agency.
The scam usually involved telling the person he or she has committed some violation, from not paying a fine to missing a summons for jury duty.. The scammer then instructs the intended victim to buy a gift card, call back on the number on your phone, and read them the number. This demand is accompanied by a very sophisticated sounding summons, warning the victim that they will be arrested if they dont do as ordered immediately.
The FBI stresses it never uses the phone or email to demand money, settle a debt, or threaten arrest.
1200 WOAI news has reported extensively on the use of spoofers. sometimes, just like junk mailers make their mail look like a check to get you to open the envelope, robo callers will make the call look like its coming from law enforcement, your office, even your child's school, to get a person to answer the phone so the robo caller can deliver its pitch.
in cases like this, scammers actually claim to be a representative of a law enforcement agency to intimidate victims into giving them money.
Experts say if you have any doubt whether the caller legitimately represents the agency they claim to be calling from, hang up and call the agency back on its listed phone number.