published on September 19, 2017 - 9:56 AM
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 or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

• Report possible fraud to local law enforcement authorities.

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