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Kim Mance is a journalist, writer and blogger for publications like Condé Nast Traveler, and Marie Claire. She co-hosted Travel Channel’s Destination Showdown, and hosts Dream it. Book it. Do it! for Comcast on-demand.

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I'm editor-in-chief of Galavanting, an online women's travel magazine. I'm also a freelance writer on topics from politics, to parenting, to freethought. 

Oh, and I've got five great kids; three of my own, and two who came with the love of my life.

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Wednesday
Feb062013

Federal Crimes of Investigation Office - scam phone call

Funny story. Just as I was leaving to meet a friend for lunch today I got a call from a number I didn't recognize in Washington state - 206-259-6363. A man with an Indian (perhaps Pakistani) accent told me he was an officer from the Federal Crimes of Investigation Office and that I needed to give him all my personal information to verify my identity.

"I'm sorry, the federal what?" I asked

"The Federal Crimes of Investigation Office," he repeated, "And this is very serious, so you need to give me all of your information immediately or be arrested in the next 24 hours."

"Um, no."

"Ma'am, don't make this worse. I already have your social security number, xxx-xx-xxxx." (Which was actually my social security number.)

"Actually, you give me all your personal information and I will call back to verify you are who you say you are," I irritably demanded back."What is your badge number?"

"My badge number is 72."

"Your badge number is seventy-two?! Oh really. And what is your name?"

"My name is Officer Sam Smith. The Federal Crimes of Investigation Office is a division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

"OK, Officer Sam Smith with badge number 72, I'll get back to you after I've had a word with the FBI."

I hung up on him. Then I dialed back the area code 206 number he called me from thinking it would be a spoofed number, and to my surprise, he answered the phone.

"Are you kidding me with this, you really think I'm falling for this?"

"Don't make this worse ma'am, you are in very big trouble, I have a signed affidavit here saying you are guilty of wire fraud and our state doesn't take that lightly."

"Oh really? Wire fraud, from your office in Washington state ... not Washington, D.C., correct?"

"Yes, and if you do not cooperate, I will next call your bank and freeze your assets and you won't be able to withdraw one penny."

"Well, I compliment you on your English, but go screw yourself," I replied as he hung up on me.

I then looked up the number for the local New York FBI office and was transferred to an officer who was very nice. The FBI agent said, "No, that is a scam, don't give him any information at all." I told him that's what I suspected, but that the man -- er, I'm sorry, Officer Sam Smith -- had my actual social security number. "Oh, well, you should call the Social Security Administration right away and let them know somebody has it."

The entire time I was on the phone, I received incoming calls from the number "911."

After giving the phone number and information, I hung up with the actual FBI and called back the fake FCIO 'officer.'

"I've just spoken with the FBI and reported everything you've done today, they say it's a scam."

"Ma'am, this is not a scam."

"And I don't have time for this, good luck with that."

Once I hung up he never called back. But, sigh, now I have to report that my social security number has been stolen to the credit bureaus, the SSA, and who knows who else.

At least lunch was really good.

For more on identitfy theft and other scams like this, the FBI has an information page here.

You can also submit an online tip to the FBI here if you've been victimized. 

 

 

 

Reader Comments (117)

Woah! I hope when you talked to SSA they were able to tell you somehow how they got your number!

February 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex M

OMG I JUST GOT A CALL FROM SAM SMITH BADGE #83. I AM SO PISSED RIGHT NOW!

June 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterT BROCK

wow... this description matches perfectly with the phone call I got except they gave me phone number 703-574-7061 and told me that there are three federal crime that I am involved and must call the Federal Crime office headquarter Virginia. Guy sounded like from Indian sub-continent (Pakistan/India/Bangladesh/Sri Lanka). I hung up and called back and guy picked up the phone and said 'Hello' without any additional information. That made me think this sounds like a scam. Called local FBI office to make sure and they said is this is a scam but they can't do much about it.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam J

I just got this call too and it seems like a guy from India or Pakistan area. He said he's from the Federal Crime Office and the phone number is from Sterling, Virginia. The guy kept calling me over and over.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

This guy called me twice today. You may report the incident to FTC at 1-877-382-4357.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam J

I get phone phone call last night that my husband going to be arrest with federal crime .
i told him sand me official letter that what we did wrong .
he said its too late . we sand you letters before and you never respond now Obama can not stop us and help you.
so i ask what is next step. He said it two option , one in court and one outside court.
i said send me letter and i will talk to my lawyer and account.
He said second one u sleep with me and let go your husband .
i was so shock , i was taking to my husbond and he asking me who you taking, how many kinds i have and they minor or adult , i told him that is not your business
i hand up phone and call 911 and police came my house .we redial that no and it was not working no area code was 646 and guy name was jone smith and kevin

October 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterun known

I don't believe it. I received a similar call in the morning today. Only difference is they said I will be arrested in the next twenty minutes if I don't pay $800 to cancel the warrant in my name. Mode of payment -- Money Pak scratch card. One more weird thing was once I was in my car they called me from my home number to my cell phone but hung up and called from the 202 number. They kept calling me from 202 800 9952 and 911 every time I will hang up. I went to our local police station and reported it to. I hope no one falls prey to these creeps. The names they used were Federal Officer Justin Hall and attorney Mark Handerson and sounded Indian, Bangladeshi or Pakistani.

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

Today someone left me a message from Federal Crime Investigation with the a name of Mark,and a phone number (202)800-9952 and said to my receptionist it is important.
I called back and another guy by the name of Sean answered the call and he threatened me of freezing my assets because there are three pending federal crimes, and I have to answer some questions.
He hanged up on me when I asked him for his last name and his federal ID number.

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam Smith

Please help me out guys, as I am haunted by these crooks sitting in somewhere west africa impersonating as federal officers are calling and threateing off dire sequences, leaving their magicjack number to call. Flood them with our calls and get it a point where they should feel it's not working for them fooling innocent american citizens. Please make sure when you call them below numbers, dial *67 infront of these magic numbers to block your numbers, so that they won't call you back and harass you. They do greet with "Federal crimes & investigative department, may I help you". Following are the numbers, if you want to play with them, give them a taste of their medicine. I used my talking cat app to resonant back with their own words, had lot of fun. You can google on it you will find few of the victims. Try it out for yourself, let's have some fun this bastards ...

*6712028009953
*6716467132952
*6712062596363
*6717035747061

November 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSM

A guy with a heavy accent called number 202-800-9952 saying he is from Federal Crime Investigation and he has a case against us. We googled such a claim and immediately called FBI and they have told us its all a scam and NOT to give any information. Be aware.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoyaT

These are fraud. I received a message from (202)800-9957 aka Federal Crimes of Investigation scammer Salina Hunt.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOS

Received the similar call from number 202-800-9957. Provided details to the Online Tip to the FBI page mentioned above.

December 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEdmond

Just got a similar call from 202-800-9957.
I wonder why they do not get some one without heavy accent to make those calls!!!

December 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAgent 007

Ha, don't give them any ideas Agent 007 ... they're annoying enough as it is! :)

December 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterKim Mance

i just got a call from Dan Heckin from the federal crime investigation, same thing heavy accent, call back number 646 5279240

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermike

I got a similar call left on my answering machine from a heavy accented guy from the Federal Crime Investigation Department. Had to listen several times to get some idea about this message. He identified himself as an officer Branden Tyler and my name being involved in some sort of crime.....etc. He wanted me to call him back as soon as possible with a number that started with 202-8...but quickly corrected himself and gave a cell # 646-757-1809. I know it's a cell # from NY, because I have caller id and can reverse look-up these pesky numbers..... and to report another scam.

January 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Voicemail (hispanic accent) left on my answering machine asking for me by name from the Federal Crime Enforcement Network phone # 202-800-9957. Identified himself as an officer John Lopez and my name being involved in some sort of legal case. He wanted me to call him back as soon as possible at cell # 646-757-1809. Scam?

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSM

I just call from somebody without Indian informing he was an affidavit officer with federal crimes investigation department and that a criminal complaint had been made against me. I told the officer had never heard of any such department. If a criminal complaint had been made against me I would expect personal contact from law enforcement and not a phone call. I refused to answer or confirm any question and rudely hung up the phone.

January 6, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterzakariah

I received call today jan 8 th 2014.from Washing DC crime investigation DEPT. officer Justin webster.he left a message that there is 3 federal investigation against me and against my ID. he repeat his phone number twice as 202-241-9668 to call him. When I called him he transfer me to his supervisor. He said to me that owe $1200 of state tax. He could help or he will send a copy to my local police to arrest me.
I told him that IRS will send me a letter first and will give me enough time to pay if I really owe but not arrest me. I work for 28 years same job, IRS will takes money from check. I never got letter from IRS. I paid all my taxes on time.Then he hung up.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterafridi

This morning a man with Indian accent called my house and left a message saying there is a warrant for my husband’s arrest. It was hard to understand his voice mail because of the accent. My husband called the number 424-210-3580. When he picked up the line he introduced himself as Don Lawson, officer of Federal Criminal Investigation and he told us this is about IRS and our tax return for 2011. He added that we have three criminal alignments against us and if we refuse to give him our SSN he was sending federal agents to arrest us in the next few minutes. He is getting away with this and it makes me angry to think he has done this to senior citizens who are so vulnerable with physical conditions, I reported this to the FBI please do the same and be aware and don't give any information out. I called him back and I told him we reported him to FBI. He hung up.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

This morning a man with Indian accent called my house and left a message saying there is a warrant for my husband’s arrest. It was hard to understand his voice mail because of the accent. My husband called the number 424-210-3580. When he picked up the line he introduced himself as Don Lawson, officer of Federal Criminal Investigation and he told us this is about IRS and our tax return for 2011. He added that we have three criminal alignments against us and if we refuse to give him our SSN he was sending federal agents to arrest us in the next few minutes. He is getting away with this and it makes me angry to think he has done this to senior citizens who are so vulnerable with physical conditions, I reported this to the FBI please do the same and be aware and don't give any information out. I called him back and I told him we reported him to FBI. He hung up.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

This morning a man with Indian accent called my house and left a message saying there is a warrant for my husband’s arrest. It was hard to understand his voice mail because of the accent. My husband called the number 424-210-3580. When he picked up the line he introduced himself as Don Lawson, officer of Federal Criminal Investigation and he told us this is about IRS and our tax return for 2011. He added that we have three criminal alignments against us and if we refuse to give him our SSN he was sending federal agents to arrest us in the next few minutes. He is getting away with this and it makes me angry to think he has done this to senior citizens who are so vulnerable with physical conditions, I reported this to the FBI please do the same and be aware and don't give any information out. I called him back and I told him we reported him to FBI. He hung up.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

Well, this scam is still alive and well. I am at work and my wife gets a phone call from a woman stating that I am under investigation for a federal crime. Needless to say she was shocked and upset. However, my wife noticed that our caller id showed "wireless caller" which made her a bit suspicious. She had to pry it out of the caller but was able to get a name and return call number who claimed to be calling from New York. My wife then called me at work and I did a reverse look up on the number which was reported as a cell number from Washington DC. Anyway I am going to call back with a blocked number and see what they know just to find out. My suspicion: the Target store ID theft is the source of some of this info.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

We got a call today. The guy is Spanish accent, same story they were coming arrest us. Police can not do any thing about this scam I was glad to see these posts, that we are all safe. The number he called was 424-210-3580.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterms

Just got a call from a heavily accented man a Jonathan Williams from "Federal Crime of Investigation Law Firm".
Pretty much saying what all the comments here stated.
Could tell it was not on the level.
The number he called from was 727-399-7922


Funny thing..he left a message I called back. He answered. I asked for Johnathan Williams. He puts me on hold comes back on the line and same person says yes this is Attorney Jonathan Williams. How can I help you? Ridiculous. They have to work on their English!!!!

January 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterteresa g

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