There are telephone scammers out there looking to take your hard-earned money right from under your nose. Don’t be tricked, just hang up!
Most telephone scammers trying to get your money will demand quick payment by money orders or prepaid debit cards. Watch out for brand names like Green Dot, MoneyPak, Western Union or MoneyGram.
No utility company or government agency would demand immediate payment or make threats. The person on the other end can be very convincing, and your caller-ID display may even trick you into thinking the phone call is legitimate. When in doubt, remember to just hang up! Then, contact them back at a number that YOU know is real.
Utility Company Scam
If someone calls you claiming to be from an electric, gas, water, or other utility company and says you owe them money, what should you do? Just hang up!
It is very common for scammers to call people and businesses and say they are from a utility company. Your caller ID might even show the name of the utility company. They say if you don’t make a payment they will shut off your service immediately. If you get this call, just hang up! Then, to help protect yourself, call the utility company back using a phone number that YOU know is valid to verify the information.
Court / Law Enforcement Scam
If someone calls you claiming to be from a court or law enforcement agency and says you owe them money, what should you do? Just hang up!
Scammers claiming to be a Police Officer, Court Clerk, Sheriff’s Deputy, or other law enforcement or government official will use words like ticket, arrest, jail and warrant to scare you into giving them money. Legitimate government agencies will never solicit money from you over the phone to pay fines. If you get this call, just hang up! Then, call 911 to explain what happened to a real Police Officer.
Family Emergency Scam
If someone claiming to be a family member or friend calls you and demands money immediately (for any reason), what should you do? Just hang up!
One of the most frightening calls you can get is from a loved one saying that they are hurt or in trouble. Scammers will take advantage of this and pretend to be someone they are not, often calling late at night to wake you up. They may claim to need money immediately to bail out of jail, for a hospital bill, a gambling debt, or other situation where their safety or security is in jeopardy. They will often ask you to keep the situation a secret from others. If you get this call, just hang up! Then, call the family member or friend back using a phone number that YOU know is valid to ensure the call was a scam.
Watch Out For Each Other!
It is important to be aware of these situations to protect yourself, but you can also help protect your friends and family. If you know someone being scammed, talk to them about the situation or call the police because they may be too embarrassed or scared to say something themselves. We all can work together to prevent telephone scammers from getting away with your hard-earned money!