Written by The Business Journal Staff
Fresno Yosemite International Airport officials are warning of a scam that targets the families of travelers.
Called the family emergency imposter scam, it involves scammers posing as a relative of friend claiming they are being held by authorities at the Fresno airport, and are in need of a money wire to authorize their release.
The goal of the scam is to trick people into sending money before they realize it’s a scam, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Often, another individual may join the call claiming to be an authority figure such as a lawyer or other official.
If someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a relative or friend in need of money, 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 couldn’t 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.