How do I know if a phone call is spam? A retired FBI agent says how

Reporter: Rich Kolko
Published: Updated:
A woman receives a call on her smartphone that could be spam. Does she answer it? (Credit: MGN)
Woman on smartphone (Credit: MGN)

Your smartphone rings and the caller ID says, “FBI,” which is a call most people in Southwest Florida are not expecting. Is it real or is it a scam?

Rich Kolko, the safety and security specialists at WINK News and a retired FBI agent with over two decades of experience, said let the smartphone go to voicemail.

When you see this number, (202) 324-3000, it is from the actual FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. In fact, 324 are the numbers that spell out FBI on the digital keypad on your smartphone.

But, anyone can fake or spoof a number and make it show up on your smartphone. If you let the call go to voicemail, when you listen, you will know it is a fake call if the caller is making threats of arrest or demanding money.

The caller may give a badge number and say your social security number is suspended, which is part of a goal to get your personal and banking information. It is part of what is known as government impersonation scams – these cost people around $24 million in 2019.

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