Bothell Police Dispatchers want to warn residents about some new scams, and some that never go away. They're reminding residents to be vigilant and wary of ANY phone call or text message that mentions payments or financial information.
In it's latest warning, the FBI says cybercriminals are targeting victims by sending text messages with what appear to be bank fraud alerts. The message asks if the customer initiated an instant-money transfer. Once the victim responds to the alert, the cybercriminal then calls from a number which appears to match the financial institution's legitimate 1-800 support number. Under the pretext of reversing the fake money transfer, victims are swindled into sending payment to bank accounts under the control of the cyber actors.
Here's what the text may look like:
Read more from the FBI about how this sophisticated scam proceeds, convincing many unsuspecting victims to share their banking and financial information with scammers.
Scammers and fraudsters are always coming up with new ways to accomplish the same thing; stealing money from innocent victims.
However, some types of phone scams never seem to go away. Though not sophisticated, they're effective because they prey on a person's fear.
Some scam-callers say they're with the local police department. They often tell victims that the police department is aware of overdue fines, fees or citations and threaten arrest if a payment isn't made immediately, over the phone. Amazingly, some very convincing scammers even instruct victims to make the payments via gift cards. Victims, of all ages and backgrounds, fall for these unscrupulous fraudsters every day.
Please tell your family, friends and neighbors: Bothell Police will NEVER call you and demand payment for any reason, at any time. Bothell Police will NEVER instruct you to purchase gift cards to expedite a payment of any kind. Bothell Police will NEVER call you and ask for your financial information. Share this reminder from Bothell Police Dispatchers.
If you get a call like this from anyone: Hang up, immediately. If you get a voicemail or text message like this: Delete it, right away.
If you are ever in any doubt about a call from someone who claims to be with Bothell Police, hang up and call our non-emergency line: (425) 486-1254.
Your best defense against fraud and phone scams is knowledge and awareness. Share the information and links with friends, family and neighbors.