The Real Deal: Aggressive Phone Scammers
Updated: Wednesday, March 20 2013, 12:56 PM EDT
SCOTIA - Phone scammers are stepping it up and if you're in their path, they're hoping to scare you into giving up your personal information. The crooks are aggressively targeting the Capital Region.
The calls started at Norma LaCombe's home last week. At first the scammers left a message, "I needed to call this number back immediately and he used key words like, stop order, summons to be carried out tomorrow between 1:00 and 4:00pm," says LaCombe. The scammer kept calling back, finally when he got through, he was asking for someone LaCombe had never heard of, "he asked me the same question again and again and I said, I'm not that person, he went into yell mode, saying "look lady I can tell that you're lying to me" and that's when I hung up the phone the first time" she says.
But that didn't seem to phase the caller, "he just kept hitting redial, hitting redial and redial, he wouldn't stop calling," according to LaCombe.
Sometimes it's a call from a bogus debt collector, other times the scammers claim you've won some government grant. "The only thing the government asks is that I send a $199 donation for charity," says Jason Preston who was called multiple times with the offer. A Queensbury woman tells CBS6 she was called 60 times in one weekend with the same offer which is bogus.
In the end, the scammers are all looking for the same thing, your bank account information. If you get an unsolicited call, your first instinct might be to hang-up but you should hang-on the line for a few seconds to try and get as much information about the caller as possible...their name, where they are located and a call-back number. Then, ask them to stop calling, if they refuse use that information to file a complaint against them with the NYS Attorney General's Office and the Federal Trade Commission. You might also want to call your phone company and have it block the telephone number from calling you.
"I think they're disgusting, I really do. There's other ways to make money in the world you don't have to scam people like that, especially if it hits the older people or people who are just barely making it through," says Preston of the scammers. But chances are, once the crooks know you're not going to give up your bank account information, they'll likely give up on you.