Wave of Government Impersonation Scammers Target Washington Residents

Friday, April 1, 2016

Law enforcement officials are aware of a recent wave of scam attempts targeting Washington state residents. Callers identify themselves as a federal officer and typically instruct people to wire “settlement” money to avoid arrest. These phone calls are fraudulent and call recipients should hang up immediately. Federal agencies do not call or email individuals, threatening them to send money.
There are many versions of this government impersonation scam, but they are all variations of the same tactic. The type of scam has been around for years and targets people across the nation. In the first three months of 2016, dozens of reports have streamed in to law enforcement about attempts to scam Washington residents—particularly in the Seattle and Yakima areas—but they are not uniquely targeted.

In addition, a scam phone call may seem legitimate because scammers can spoof caller ID information. It may appear the call is coming from a federal agency’s legitimate phone number or from the Washington, DC, area, or may show the name of a federal agency.

If you have been targeted by government-impersonation scammers, please report the attempt to the officials listed below:

FBI Impersonation: Call your local FBI field office In Washington, the Seattle Division: 206-622-0460 (select option 1)

IRS Impersonation: Fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on TIGTA’s website (https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml)

U.S. Marshal Impersonation: Call your local US Marshals Service field office In Washington: (509) 368-3600