Omaha FBI breaks down total scams for the year

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 4:50 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The amount of money Nebraska victims have lost in scams just this year is mind-boggling. Fourteen million dollars stolen from 2,400 Nebraskans, and most of them can’t afford the loss.

Two FBI agents listen to a recorded scam call claiming my social security number has been used for identity theft and there’s an arrest warrant out for me.

Scammer on phone said, “You need to pay $2,000 for that, a bail amount.”

The special agents say report the scam to IC3 the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Jeremy Witmer, FBI Special Agent said, “It’s hey I got a call from this number or this person or they asked me to email this address or send money to this bank account. All those little pieces they all go into our database of information.”

On the cyber squad, the special agents specialize in scam investigations.

Jake Foiles, FBI Special Agent said, “It’s frustrating to see people are out there targeting the vulnerable. The elderly, the lonely.”

In this case, senior citizens threatened with the loss of social security.

Scam artist said, “I have orders from the law to go ahead and suspended right away your social security number and I have to do it.”

The scammers want a payment on cash cards and the money usually goes overseas but the agents say they work with legal attaches in 70 foreign embassies.

Foiles said, “The FBI we have essentially this international outreach so we can go after these subjects regardless of where they are.”

Scammers overseas often spoof us numbers you can’t call them back.

After leading one of these callers on for a few minutes so at least he wouldn’t be scamming someone else I had to ask why he wants to con people especially senior citizens.

Scam artist said, “Why are you wasting my time it’s for money, for money.”

And to keep from losing it the special agents have a tip.

Jeremy Witmer, FBI Special Agent said, “Get their name, get their call back number and who they say they’re calling from, and then hang up on them.”

The Omaha FBI office also covers Iowa where agents have reports from 8,600 scam victims this year. Those Iowans lost a total of nineteen million dollars.

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