There is a scam that is targeting the Indian community in Georgia and across the United States, and it is critical that everyone familiarize themselves with the tactics they are using to extort money from unsuspecting folks. A man with an Indian accent is calling from New York (646 or 212) area codes, though they may very well be using other numbers by now. The man identifies himself as an Officer with the Federal Crime Enforcement Network, and he threatens to arrest the person because they are late on taxes or are facing serious charges. The officer then says he will be there in 30 minutes to arrest the individual. He gives the individual an opportunity to pay the "late fees and penalties" to avoid arrest. I have received several calls regarding this scam in the last month, and they are getting more aggressive.
If you receive one of these calls, it is important to understand a few things to ensure you protect yourself. First, there is NO federal agency named the Federal Crime Enforcement Network. There is a Financial Crime Enforcement Network, and the scammers are undoubtedly using a similar name to create confusion. Second, there is no federal or law enforcement agency in the United States that would threaten an imminent arrest if you do not pay an exorbitant fee immediately ? especially when the method of payment sounds suspect. DO NOT PAY THEM ANYTHING. Be firm and polite and explain you need all of their contact information, badge number, specific charges, fees, etc. and you will be checking them out with your local United States Attorney. That should end the harassment. Upon hanging up, report whatever information you have including the phone number to your local consumer protection agency (in Georgia it is the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection). We believe one of the reasons they are targeting the Indian community is because they believe these targets will be more susceptible to threats involving authority and arrest, and less likely to report the scammers to authorities.
If you are reading this after you have already paid them ? immediately contact the bank or credit card you used to transfer payment and explain the details of the scam. Report and provide any of the same identifying information to the financial institution and see if they have any clawback provisions that will allow them to access the money.
Our best information so far suggests the group is working outside the United States and using NY cellphone numbers to make calls, so state protection agencies have not really done much to prevent the scams from continuing. Your best protection is knowledge!