FBI taps to avoid phone scams and how to report fraud

Last year, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) acquired greater than 92,000 complaints from victims over the age of 60. William Webster was considered one of them.

HOUSTON — A phone scammer in Jamaica picked the fallacious goal when he known as former FBI and CIA director William Webster.  

“I served in WWII and Korea. I was a federal judge. I was the director of the FBI. Director of the CIA and I was the target in an elder fraud scheme,” Webster stated in a brand new FBI public service announcement.

The marketing campaign is directed at older Americans who fall sufferer to financial fraud schemes. Last year, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) acquired greater than 92,000 complaints from victims over the age of 60. Their mixed losses topped $1.7 billion.

Webster and his spouse Lynda helped the FBI seize the scammers who tried to steal money. The calls began with a person who stated his title was David Morgan telling Judge Webster that he gained a lottery.

“The total value of the award is about, it is about $72 million,” the caller “David” stated.

“72 million,” the caller repeated. “You are the first-place winner.”

But since Webster didn’t ship money immediately, the calls obtained ugly. Lynda Webster will always remember how vile the caller was. He even knew particulars about their home.

“He got me on the phone alone and threatened to shoot my brains out onto our white house,” Lynda Webster stated. “He knew we lived in a white house and had a sniper that would do it.”

That name was recorded too.

“I’m going to kill you. I’m going to kill your husband. I am going to set your house on fire because you seem to be playing around and you doesn’t know who am I,” stated the voice on the opposite finish.

The Websters didn’t fall for the scam and helped federal authorities with proof to arrest Keniel Thomas. He was picked up whereas on a visit from Jamaica to the U.S. 

Thomas pleaded responsible to interstate communication with the intent to extort. After serving his time, Thomas might be deported.

William Webster can also be the face of a brand new marketing campaign warning seniors about elder fraud. Lynda Webster hopes you’ll share it with the seniors in your loved ones. 

WATCH: William Webster shares his story to warn others

“Two people can’t do much but 100 million people all sending a video around to their elders can make a difference,” she stated.

Tips to defend your self from fraud scams

Here are some suggestions from the FBI to avoid being a sufferer and methods to report the crime.

  • Recognize scam makes an attempt and finish all communication with the perpetrator.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, mailings, and door-to-door companies provides.
  • Resist the strain to act rapidly. Scammers create a way of urgency to produce concern and lure victims into quick motion. Call the police instantly when you really feel there’s a hazard to you or a cherished one.
  • Never give or ship any personally identifiable info, money, jewellery, reward playing cards, checks, or wire info to unverified folks or companies.
  • Make positive all computer anti-virus and safety software and malware protections are up to date.
  • Disconnect from the web and shut down your gadget when you see a pop-up message or locked display screen. Pop-ups are commonly utilized by perpetrators to unfold malicious software. Enable pop-up blockers to avoid by chance clicking on a pop-up.
  • Be cautious what you obtain. Never open an electronic mail attachment from somebody you do not know and be cautious of electronic mail attachments forwarded to you.
  • If a legal features entry to your gadget or account, instantly contact your monetary establishments to place protections in your accounts. Monitor your accounts and personal info for suspicious exercise.

If you imagine you or somebody you realize could have been a sufferer of elder fraud, contact FBI Houston at 713-693-5000 or submit a tip on-line at www.suggestions.fbi.gov. You can even file a grievance with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

When reporting a scam—no matter greenback quantity—embody as most of the following particulars as attainable:

  • Names of the scammer and/or company
  • Dates of contact
  • Methods of communication
  • Phone numbers, electronic mail addresses, mailing addresses, and web sites utilized by the perpetrator
  • Methods of fee
  • Where you despatched funds, together with wire transfers and pay as you go playing cards (present monetary establishment names, account names, and account numbers)
  • Descriptions of your interactions with the scammer and the directions you got

You are additionally inspired to maintain unique documentation, emails, faxes, and logs of all communications.

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