The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is warning citizens of a new phone scam that is alleging to be a representative of the TBI's own human trafficking task force.

According to a TBI news release, the scam involves unknown persons calling potential victims from the phone number of the TBI's Human Trafficking Hotline, as well as a phone number associated with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

TBI reports that the caller sometimes identifying themselves as "Ryan McClain" with the "Nashville Human Trafficking Task Force," and tells a victim that their phone number is that of a victim of human trafficking, and that they must pay a large sum of money to have their name "cleared."

The TBI asks that anyone who may be contacted by a scammer ignore their claims or threats and report the scam call to the TBI here or by phone at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Phone and internet scams have been on the rise since the onset of the pandemic, often times targeting vulnerable populations such as senior citizens. 

June 16 is recognized as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and several high profile scams have been busted that have specifically targeted seniors, including last week's arrest of two Miami, Florida, men who were charged with allegedly defrauding senior citizens of thousands of dollars in Nolensville and across Middle Tennessee.

In May a Franklin couple was arrested by FBI, accused of defrauding elderly woman of $1.7 million.

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