Have You Received a Scam Phone Call?
Scammers are not just busy on the internet, they are burning up the phone lines in attempts to scam people. There are a number of common scams, such as:
- Microsoft Technical Support Scmas
- Collect Call scams
- Inmate collect call scams
- Phone service is about to be cut off
- Scams Based in Area Codes 809, 284 and 876
- Seeking business loan?
- Make $10,000 right now!
and some new and as yet, uncommon scams. Just to prove that you can't trust phone calls you receive, see the examples reports of phone scams we've received.
Detailed reports of other phone calls can be found on this page.
Betty White, 876-832-1313, "US Customs Claims" Lottery Scam, received from a visitor, April 6, 2008
My scam was a telephone caller. Who identified herself as being from the better business bureau and working with the U S Customs for a delivery and documents. The call back number was 876-832-1313 and the name was Betty White. Upon calling this number, it was answered as U S Customs claims. She told me that I had won 1.5 million dollars. It would be delivered by courier, and I needed to pay them 500 + dollars. At this time I said I was not interested.The ladies reply was F you
Government Jobs, Issuing FHA refund checks, received from a visitor, April 2, 2008: Other numbers used by these scammers are: 603-214-3605, 512-404-1292, 971-285-3130.
Received a call from someone purporting to be the "The Government" and wanted me to help "The Government" issue FHA refund checks, of which, they promised, I would receive a percentage and would have my paycheck sent to me directly from the US Treasury. After a little probing, they said they operated under the name GMI Enterprises, based out of Portland, Oregon (I live in Boise, Idaho). I spoke to a person name Angie (she would not give me her last name) and said her operator number was 113. The phone number used to reach them (which I have confirmed) is 971-285-3130. They do charge a fee to enroll in their program, and they claimed that I had requested to be contacted via something I signed up for online (which I have not done).
HUD is warning of two scams:
- a work-at-home offer to become a "Refund Tracer" to process government insurance FHA refund notices. HUD does not employ 3rd party processers. HUD says: "Beware of unauthorized advertisements claiming that you can work for HUD or any Federal agency from home. Only jobs posted at USAJOBS are official federal career positions."
- The other scam is a phone call, email or post card saying you must confirm details to receive your refund. HUD is warning consumers to be careful about any literature or solicitations stating that a change in HUD's, FHA's or the government's policy will prevent you from receiving your FHA refund and that you should call their office immediately.
If you are unsure whether your loan was FHA, you can call HUD toll-free at 1-800-697-6967 and provide your name and property address, or you may contact HUD at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can click here to search the HUD database.
MCI long distance scam, received from a visitor, March 29, 2008:
I received a phone call from someone claiming to be from MCI long distance and stating that there were some 3rd party calls that had been charged to my home phone. The first time I called the number that they had left I got a recording asking me to leave my name, address, and phone number so that they could forward a bill to me. I just hung up. I called back later on and immediately got a person who asked me for my personal information and when I asked why she needed it she stated once again that there had been some 3rd party calls charged to my home phone. She stated that they needed my name, home phone number, and address in order to forward a bill to me for the charges. I then stated to her that I did not have MCI long distance service and she said "Thank You" and hung up on me. I later got to thinking about it and looked MCI up on the internet and found out that they no longer exist. They were bought out by Verizon in 2003. The number that they left for me was 1-877-471-1453.
Sun National Bank scam, received from a visitor, February 25, 2008:
Sun National bank in florida text messaged my cell phone saying "your national bill service is expired. for renewal call us toll free at 805 27501591"
I have never had a sun national bill service or an account or anything related to sun national. I called the phone number to find out what this was all about andthe first thing they asked for was a credit card number... pass this on.
The FBI has warned residents of Tennessee, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi about a new scam targeting customers of Regions Bank.
According to a notice issued on November 23, 2007 (see this page for the complete story) residents of Tennessee, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi have received automated telephone calls asking them to visit a fraudulent Web site and verify customer information, such as their user name and password.
Regions said customers who receive such a call or who provided information on the Web site should contact the bank at 800-REGIONS or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com .
March 18, 2008, from phone 866-434-0080
"I am looking to see if any one else has been in the same situation as me. I didn't really see it on your list of things. This wasn't an e-mail thing(that I know of anyway). I was balancing my bank statement for my check book and I noticed a debit on there of $66.50. before the amount was 8664340080Medserv., with repeated numbers after it. I did not authorize this transaction and I currently filled out forms to reverse the charge and stop payment from them doing that to me again. I tried to call that number and when I finally reached someone they tried to tell me I ordered some medical subscription/supplies. I told them I did not and he said that maybe my spouse did. I told them I have no spouse. He said that maybe someone in my family did. I said there is no way anyone did. #1 - I don't need any Medical subscription/supplies. #2 I would have never given out my checking account information. When I asked him where they got it of course they wouldn't tell me and when I proceeded to chew them out he hung up on me. This is really scary when people can get a hold of your personal checking account info(let alone credit cards) and charge whatever on it! If no one else has had this happen then I feel I need to make people aware of this. Please help me find out more and let me know."
Yes, it looks like a scam. Contact your bank and the FBI - see this page for another example.
What to do about it
See these pages for guidance as applicable to your specific situation:
- If you are certain you don't owe a debt: What to do about harassing phone calls
- If you may owe a debt: Debt collection phone calls - what they may do, what the may not do and how to stop them
- If you are being harassed by the collector: file a compliant against a debt collector with the FTC - Use this form to submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection about a particular company or organization..
- How to stop telemarketers