Phone scammers continue to call citizens in Logan and Champaign County and the surrounding area requesting personal information. Law enforcement reminds the public DO NOT give out these details over the phone. Anyone receiving these types of calls should call the Bellefontaine Police Department at 599-1010 (if you live in the city) or the Logan County Sheriff’s Office at 599-3333 (county residents).
So how do you recognize a phone scam?
Phone scams come in many forms, but they tend to make similar promises and threats or ask you to pay in specific ways. Here’s how to recognize a phone scam.
THERE IS NO PRIZE
The caller might say you were “selected” for an offer or that you’ve won a lottery. But if you have to pay to get the prize, it’s not a prize.
YOU WON’T BE ARRESTED
Scammers might pretend to be law enforcement or a federal agency. They might say you’ll be arrested, fined, or deported if you don’t pay taxes or some other debt right away. The goal is to scare you into paying. Actual law enforcement and federal agencies won’t call and threaten you.
YOU DON’T NEED TO DECIDE NOW
Most legitimate businesses will give you time to think their offer over and get written information about it before asking you to commit. Take your time. Don’t get pressured into deciding on the spot.
THERE’S NEVER A GOOD REASON TO SEND CASH OR PAY WITH A GIFT CARD
Scammers will often ask you to pay in a way that makes it hard for you to get your money back — by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card, cash reload card or using a money transfer app. Anyone who asks you to pay that way is a scammer.
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WON’T CALL TO CONFIRM YOUR SENSITIVE INFORMATION
It’s never a good idea to give out sensitive information like your Social Security number to someone who calls you unexpectedly, even if they say they’re with the Social Security Administration or IRS.
Examples of Common Phone Scams
Any scam can happen over the phone. But here are some popular angles phone scammers like to use:
A scammer pretends to be someone you trust — a government agency like the Social Security Administration or the IRS, a family member, a love interest, or…