The caller, who used the names Alex Morgan and Thomas Ryan in the scam attempt, left a message on the victim’s answering machine, indicating that he needed to speak with the victim regarding an investigation. The caller had the ability to “spoof” the victim’s caller ID to make it appear the call originated from the “US Government”.
The FBI never calls people to threaten arrest, ask for money or request personal information. Sheriff Dave Wedding stated, “If you have any doubt about the identity of an official who calls you on the phone, get the official’s name, hang up, and then call the agency back at a phone number you know to be correct.” Sheriff Wedding added, “The victim in this most recent case did the right thing by treating this message with skepticism and immediately notifying law enforcement. Once you become known as an easy mark for these scammers, you may be targeted for future scam attempts.”
Residents should not be deceived by callers who already have a date of birth or other piece of personally identifiable information. This basic information is sometimes used to bolster the credibility of the caller in hope of obtaining even more information from the victim.
The FBI is aware of this scam and issued a statement encouraging “…anyone who receives a telephone call from someone representing to be from the FBI, to verify the information provided in that call with their local FBI field office.” The phone number for the FBI field office in Evansville is (812) 423-4486.
Pictured above: Fake FBI Agent Clark Westerfeld from the FX TV Show “The Americans”. (Image courtesy of Fox Television Studios / Amblin Television).