FBI officials warned citizens about a phone scam targeting the wallets of Wisconsin college students Monday.
According to the FBI’s Milwaukee office, scammers are calling college students around the state claiming to be FBI agents and accusing victims of owing the government thousands of dollars. In the statement, the FBI said the calls are fake and the FBI does not call private citizens to demand money.
Scammers are using a phone number masked as the Wisconsin FBI’s number, according to the statement. The callers are accusing students of owing thousands of dollars in unpaid parking tickets, student loan debt and a wide array of other claims. They claim the tickets and debt will result in arrest if not paid.
Joel DeSpain, Madison Police Department spokesperson, said demanding money and threatening immediate arrest is a red flag students are being scammed.
This is not the first time phone scams have targeted Wisconsin and Dane County specifically. Earlier this year, there were reported cases of scammers accusing citizens of missing jury duty or having a warrant out for their arrest.
In those cases, the scammers targeted the elderly and international students.
Another common scam is directed toward business owners, saying their utility bill is late.
If you receive a call from an FBI number demanding money, hang up immediately and file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.