The following information comes from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3):
Reports of pay day loan phone scams have been occurring for the last three years or more. The scam involves victims being relentlessly contacted at their residences and places of employment regarding claims they are delinquent on a payday loan. Various coercion techniques have been used by the subjects in an attempt to persuade the victim to send money. Such techniques have evolved from repeated annoying phone calls to abusive language, threats of bodily harm, and arrests.
The IC3 has become aware of increased coercion tactics used by the subjects, which have created a threat to emergency services across the nation. The threats have now escalated into a Telephony Denial of Service (TDoS) attacks against the victims’ employers, which some have been emergency service agencies. The TDoS attacks have tied up the emergency services’ telephone lines, preventing them from receiving and responding to legitimate emergency calls.
The other tactic the subjects are now using in order to convince the victim that a warrant for their arrest exists is by spoofing a police department’s telephone number when calling the victim. The subject claims there is a warrant issued for the victim’s arrest for failure to pay off the loan. In order to have the police actually respond to the victim’s residence, the subject places repeated, harassing calls to the local police department while spoofing the victim’s telephone number.
Benbrook police have responded to at least one location in the city in the past two days where the tactic described above was used in an attempt to coerce the resident into giving over a significant sum of money. Fortunately, the resident called the police instead and was informed the circumstance was a fraud.
Residents need to know that police departments are not bill collectors. Anyone purporting to be a police officer, state or federal agent who wants you to pay him or her directly is a fraud. Do not arrange to meet with or pay money to the caller. Contact the police (Benbrook Police non-emergency telephone number is 817-249-1610) and ask to speak with an officer about the matter.