LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Little Rock FBI warns the public of a new scam dubbed “The Phantom Hacker.”
According to a press release, scammers impersonate technology, banking and government officials in a complex ploy to convince a typically older victim that foreign hackers have infiltrated their financial account.
The release says scammers then instruct the victim to immediately move their money to an alleged U.S. government account to “protect” their assets.
Little Rock FBI says in reality, there was never any foreign hacker, and the money is now fully controlled by the scammers, and victims are losing their entire life savings.
According to the FBI, between January 2023 and June 2023, 19,000 complaints related to tech support scams were submitted to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center with estimated victim losses of over $542 million.
Almost 50% of the victims reported to IC3 were over 60 years old, comprising 66% of the total losses, according to the FBI. As of August 2023, losses have already exceeded those in 2022 by 40%.
More information on how the scam works and how to protect yourself from the scam can be found here.