Authorities say to just hang up on unknown callers to avoid scams
A call always seems to come in at inconvenient times. It can be during an important meeting, or a special event where phones are supposed to be on silent or vibrate, and usually go off with loud rings in an otherwise quiet place.
Inevitably, the call isn’t even important. Some calls however can cause more trouble for those who answer and get roped in, leading people whether local or in distant cities across the country down a rabbit hole of short and long cons.
One of the latest is a recording that tells the caller “local police have charges out against you...” and continues on to instruct those receiving the voicemail to contact an out-of-area number.
Local police from several agencies warn to ignore the message, and take common sense into consideration when receiving calls or messages from numbers not normally called.
The easiest thing to do if a call comes in from an unrecognized number, just let it go to voicemail. Those are easy enough to delete. Recovering from identity theft or loss of money through frauds conducted over the phone are headaches worth avoiding.
The message received about alleged charges against the caller isn’t a new scheme. Several times, recordings and live people alike have tried to impersonate officials from locally or the area trying to get callers to believe they are in trouble, and just paying a “fine” with a prepaid card will clear their name.
Another example are “phishing” schemes, where scammers pretend to be tax officials and get sensitive information from those they’ve called claiming problems with returns, but end up with all they need to open bank accounts, credit cards and more in identify fraud schemes that claim billions from consumers across the globe.
The easiest way to avoid any problems is to also not hand out sensitive information over the phone unless the person on the other end of the line is calling from a known, trusted number.
Find more tips and information about scam calls at www. consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076phone-scams.