FBI warns of phone scammers

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – At least one Northeast Mississippian has been hit by a phone scam that’s targeting the state in an attempt to get some quick money.
The scam begins with a caller claiming he or she is with the grants department of the federal government. The caller offers grants for residential purposes in amounts from $5,000 to $10,000, according to Daniel McMullen, special agent in charge of the FBI in Mississippi.
The caller will give out a claim code along with a 202 area code, which is from Washington, D.C.
Several complaints have been reported to the Jackson office of the FBI as well as the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. This week, a Tupelo woman reported being offered $7,000 from a representative of the federal government.
The scammer will ask for a credit card number or a money order to cover processing fees.
The FBI advises Mississippians to research all offers they receive and to not allow callers to push them into hasty decisions. Also, never provide financial information over the phone to unfamiliar companies or agencies.
“Telephone scammers cannot take money from you – you have to give it to them,” McMullen said in an FBI release. “Be skeptical. Be smart.”
The FBI also encourages anyone with information about fraud to report it to the Jackson field office at (601) 948-5000.
jb.clark@journalinc.com