A Columbiaville woman was the victim of a scam when a man posing as an FBI agent ordered her to purchase gift cards totaling $17,000.

The 60-year-old woman (whose identity is not being revealed) was contacted by a man who appeared to be calling from area codes 810, 202, and 210, according to Detroit TV station WDIV. The man, who claimed to be an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, also sent a text message with a picture that included an FBI identification card and badge.

Always bear in mind (and warn relatives who may be vulnerable to such scams) that no matter how convincing someone may seem, law enforcement will never contact people demanding money or gift cards.

The man was indeed convincing. He told the woman that her ex-husband and another family member had already been arrested and that she, too, would be arrested if she did not purchase $17,000 in gift cards.

She complied. The woman purchased numerous gift cards from  T.J. Maxx, Target, and Nike and then dutifully photographed the cards and sent them to the fake FBI agent.

The case is currently being investigated.

Again, remind anyone who may be susceptible to such scams to hang up immediately. Scam phone calls can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357. You can report suspected caller ID spoofs to the Federal Communications Commission by calling 888-225-5322.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app