The FBI has issued an alert about a new type of phone scam in which the primary targets are college students.
According to the FBI, a scammer calls a student and claims to be a U.S. government official or a federal agent, feigning legitimacy by “spoofing” or mimicking a local FBI phone number on the receiving caller I.D. The scammer tells the student that he or she has overdue student loans, unpaid taxes or outstanding parking tickets and threatens him or her with arrest or failure to graduate, unless they immediately settle the fees via MoneyGram.
The scam has occurred in eight states so far — North and South Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Nebraska, Montana and Wisconsin — with each state’s FBI division warning residents to watch out for such calls.
“The public is reminded that the FBI does not call private citizens requesting money and to never give out unsolicited requests for personal information to callers that you don’t know,” the alert reads.