FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Officials at Fresno Yosemite International Airport warned the public Wednesday of a family emergency imposter scam.
The scam involves scammers posing as a relative or friend contacting people by telephone urging them to wire money immediately to authorize their release from airport custody, said spokeswoman Vikkie Calderon. Airport personnel, federal officials and airline officials do not detain travelers in exchange for wire transfer funds.
The goal of such a scam is to trick people into sending money before they realize it is a scam, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Calderon said an individual may join the call claiming to be authority figure such as a lawyer or another official to make the call seem legitimate.
If someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a relative or friend in need of money to help their situation, the Federal Trade Commission advises:
- Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is.
- Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger could not possibly answer.
- Call a phone number for the family member or friend that is known to be genuine.
- Check the story out with someone else in the family or circle of friends, even if told to keep it a secret.
- Do not wire money — or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.
- Report possible fraud at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
- Report possible fraud to local law enforcement authorities.