Bothell Police have issued a warning to the public about a scam in which suspects impersonate law enforcement officials and use technology to display incorrect caller ID information.
On Sept. 12, 2013, an elderly Bothell woman received a phone call from a suspect claiming to be an FBI agent. The woman was told she had won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes, but would need to wire $1,400 to Mexico City in order to receive her winnings. The suspect told the woman this could be verified by local police, and provided the name of a police captain employed by the Bothell Police Department.
The woman then received a call from a suspect who claimed to be the local police captain. Her caller ID displayed “Bothell Police” and a number associated with the police department. This suspect told the woman he had received confirmation from the FBI agent that the information was correct, and instructed the woman to wire the money. The woman and her husband instead went to the Bothell Police Department and confirmed that the information was not correct.
Citizens are warned that suspects have the ability to have caller ID display incorrect information. Anyone who has received similar calls should immediately report them to their local police departments.
Additional information available to help avoid becoming a victim of fraud can be found at www.consumer.ftc.gov.