A number of people from the Ballymoney area have been targeted in an audacious scam in which they have been threatened with an arrest warrant from one of the world’s leading anti-terrorist organisations.
The calls are claimed to be from the FBI (The Federal Bureau of Investigation) which was set up to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats.
Victims of the of the scam messages claim the FBI has an arrest warrant in the victim’s name even though the person called is never mentioned.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has received several reports of people that are phoned and played automated threatening messages. Some others have been left an automated message on their mobile phones.
The victim is then told to contact the telephone number 3237 592 099 to stop the warrant being executed. Many of the reports state the victims need to do this by a certain time.
One man received his message on Wednesday, October 1 at 5.41 p.m. and warned that the arrest warrant would be processed the following day at 11 a.m. if he didn’t follow their instructions to contact a legal firm and ask for a named person.
The man told the Times: “I didn’t know what to think at the start because of who it was from, or so I thought. I couldn’t believe that the FBI would be targeting someone like me who hardly goes out the door.
“There are all sorts of scams out there and with terrorism rampant across the world the last thing you want is for this type of thing to be sent. I had the phone call a number of times and then barred the number. I suspect that if you rang the number mentioned in the recorded message you would be locked into a premium rate line which could cost a lot.”
Some victims that have reported to Action Fraud have attempted to contact the suspect number but the call does not appear to connect, this could potentially be because victims are not putting the internationally dialling code in front of the suspect number.
Many have taken to the internet to warn of the scam with advice given not to give in to such frauders. They say Federal law enforcement officers would never call and ask for money.
Police are warning the public to be wary of bogus telephone calls. Inspector David Anderson took up the issue: “The advice follows a report of people receiving automated telephone calls which demand money from the recipients.
“You should never to give out personal details over the phone to unsolicited callers. If you are unsure of a caller or feel that something is not right then ask for details to check the identity. Find out where they are phoning from and how they got your details. Also, get a number you can phone them back on or if there is another representative from their company that you can contact.
“Anyone who believes they may have been victim of this scam or has any concerns should contact local police on 101.”