Scammers have long impersonated government officials, but their new tactics are more intimidating than ever before, according to the Better Business Bureau.
Here’s how this new twist works and how to avoid falling victim to it.
How the scam works
You receive a letter in the mail that looks official. It claims to come from a court or law enforcement agency. Scammers combine personal information collected from data breaches with official-looking seals and watermarks to make the correspondence seem legitimate.
The letter informs you that you have violated federal or state statutes and offers you two choices: cooperate as a witness or face indictment for serious crimes. Unfortunately, choosing to cooperate as a witness requires you to pay thousands of dollars in “legal fees.” But scammers don’t stop there.