MICHIGAN — The FBI is advising people to refrain from answering phone calls if the number is unrecognizable.
Last year, 303 victims in Michigan reportedly lost more than $1.3 million to phone scams.
Scammers tend to target people with cell phones by spoofing their numbers to make it seem as though calls are stemming from the FBI.
Victims are told they are facing charges and might be reprimanded unless thousands of dollars are paid to resolve the issue.
The FBI stresses it will never call people while asking for money.
"Criminals continue to do this because it works," explains Mara Schneider, FBI Special Agent, Detroit. "And so there's no need to be embarrassed by the fact that it happened to you. The best thing you can do is step back, take the extra step to contact whatever agency the caller or texter is telling you they're with. Take that extra step, but if something happens and you think you provided money to someone who isn't actually a government agent, contact us, contact your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible."
If you think you might have been a victim of this scam, file a police report with local authorities and via the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.