Beware text message scheme claiming to be from FBI

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We’ve got yet another scheme to warn you about. This time the con artists are pretending to be from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This latest scheme comes in the form of a text message.

“What they’re telling you is a total lie, that you’re going to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars on the back-end due to some kind of inheritance, lottery winning or in some cases money seized by the FBI,” explained FBI special agent Tom Simon.

But in order to get that money, you’re instructed to respond to an email address where you’ll be instructed to send a prepaid money card with $2,000 on it.

Simon says over the past few weeks, his office has received several reports from Hawaii residents who’ve received the text message.

“I’m here to tell you today that the FBI does not work like this. We don’t solicit money. We have no authority to levy fines or accept advance fees from the public,” Simon said.

Simon says the text messages are originating from Jamaica, a country that has become a hotbed of activity for these types of scams.

You’re urged not to respond and delete the message, and if you have any questions, contact the FBI directly.

Simon says while schemes like these are not new, the method of receiving it via a text message is.

“The idea that you’re receiving a text message from a stranger offering you something might add a little more legitimacy to it than an email might, so I want to tell people today who might be watching this to treat a text message from a stranger with the same amount of skepticism that you would treat an email from a stranger,” Simon said.

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or send an email to actionline@khon2.com.

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