LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– Government impostor scams have a new twist and are targeting locals.
Scammers have been impersonating government officials for a long time, but new tactics are more intimidating: threatening jail time and expensive legal fees.
Chris Babin of the BBB of Acadiana says, “Scammers want to use our emotions against us which is why they’ve really escalated this scam quite a bit recently from the reports that we’re getting threatening jail time or cooperation as a witness in a particular case possibly, but of course, if you’re a witness, you need to pay legal fees to be involved. Anything they can do to scare us or steal our identity or steal some money from us.”
Scammers combine personal information collected from data breaches with official seals and markings to make correspondence seem legitimate.
The letters sent often require you to pay legal fees to an attorney, claiming there is a criminal case against you, and sometimes threaten jail time,
The letters don’t give a lot of detail about the alleged crime, which is what raises a red flag for a lot of people.
Here are some tips to avoid this impostor scam:
- If you receive a call or piece of suspicious mail, make sure its legitimate before you take any action.
- Don’t engage with scammers. Stop answering calls, letter, emails, and block any phone numbers.
- Report government impostor scams to the FBI at ic3.gov
If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.