In the News

Is this a scam? Here are some tips to identify fakers over the phone

Jan 28, 2022 The Gadsden Times

The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office is getting reports of a wave of attempted phone scams. Here are some ways the Federal Trade Commission says you can tell if someone is a scammer, and how to avoid being taken advantage of.

Signs of a scam:

  • Scammers often pretend to be from an organization you are familiar with — the government, Social Security, the IRS, Medicare, a utility company, a charity, an individual, or a made-up organization that sounds official. They can use technology to change the number that appears on your caller ID; the name and number you see may not be real.
  • Scammers will tell you there’s a problem — that you’re in trouble with the government, that you owe money, there’s a problem with your account, someone in your family had an emergency or there’s a virus on your computer. Or scammers will claim you’ve won money in a lottery or sweepstakes, but you have to pay a fee to receive it.
  • Scammers will pressure you to act immediately, before you have time to think things through. While they have you on the phone they may say “don’t hang up” so you can’t check out their story.
  • Scammers will tell you a specific way to pay — often by sending money through a money transfer company, or putting money on a gift card and giving them the number on the back. A common scam involves sending you a check to deposit, then send them money back, only to have the check they sent bounce.