Beware of Telephone SCAMMERS: Beat Them at Their Own Game

I’m doing a bonus post this week as a good reminder and a public service announcement to everyone about the most recent telephone based scammers.

Scammers are getting more creative

This is August 2018.

I have now received at least one phone call a month since May 2018 saying that I’m being sued and that they need to serve me papers.

Each call has come from different area codes, the people calling have very different accents, and in my case, they have used very different versions of my name – I’m one of the lucky people with five legal names.

The first couple of months, I became panicked when I got these calls.

What!? I haven’t done anything

But then I got smart.

First, notate the number they are calling from.

Second, treat this like you are an administrative assistant and need additional information from the caller.

  • Pause for paper and pen.
  • Ask for them to spell their name.
  • Get their call back telephone number.
  • Gather additional information. Who is this coming from? When will this occur?

If the caller begins to use aggressive tactics, I tell them that they are now being recorded. At which time they will generally promptly hang up.

Remember: Any genuine debt collector or process-server is not allowed to use aggressive behaviors or harassment based on The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which states debt collectors can‘t harass, oppress, or abuse you or anyone else they contact.

The callers I have been dealing with state that I will need to be available at my home on a certain date and time otherwise a bench warrant will be issued.

What?!

They need to at the very least try to serve the papers and try to reach you by snail mail before the judge will issue a bench warrant. (This is harassment on top of being a lie)

Out of curiosity, I’ve worked from home on those days. Nobody has ever shown up at my home.

Also, nobody is able to access my office without signing in at security with a photo ID and being verified by calling our office. Nope, only clients have come to my office.

My most recent call went like this: 

Lady: You need to be home Monday between 12 and 5 so I can serve you papers in a lawsuit in which you are being called to testify by the state of California.

Me: Oh. You can’t serve me at my office?

Lady: Uh, uh, I can try one time to serve you there.  If you aren’t there we will issue a bench warrant.

Me: Ok. What is this regarding, again?

Lady: You are being criminally sued by a third-party.

Me: Wait, I thought I was being called to testify? Who are these papers coming from? How can YOU issue a bench warrant?

Lady: mumbles the name of a “law firm” and hangs up.

Summary of what is so wrong with this call:

  1. SHE cannot issue a bench warrant
  2. She changed her story as to what role I have in this “lawsuit”
  3. Process servers may call the person they are serving, but they generally just have a sealed envelope in hand therefore; won’t know the reason for what they are serving – at most, they will know the name of the party and a phone number
  4. She hung up after I asked too many questions

The local police cannot do anything about these calls. I’ve called to report each scam.

It is up to us to protect ourselves.

  1. NEVER give out your social security number
  2. NEVER give out an account number or bank information of any kind
  3. Do NOT verify your address or telephone number
  4. Take detailed notes of conversation
  5. Report to police in case these are people casing your home for times in which you will not be there

Another quick reminder about telephone scammers: The IRS will NEVER call you for collections unless you are already speaking to a representative to clear your account or you gave a representative a power-of-attorney to represent you.  Do NOT give them your bank info, social security numbers, correct spelling of names. In fact! HANG UP ON THEM!

Please please please stay vigilent in protecting yourself and your data.

Please share your stories of dealing with scammers.

Thank you for liking and sharing my posts!

 

 

 

***The life, learning, and longings of a bored accountant.*** Welcome to my website! I have been a business management accountant in the entertainment industry for many years. During my spare time, I continue my learning of spiritual and metaphysical interests such as crystals, gemstones, and spirituality. Just a couple of years ago, I decided to become a single mommy by choice. Now I write about balancing everything while sharing my life lessons, teachings, and all of my longings. Enjoy my blog, my beautiful friends!

39 Comments

  • Nina

    I get a lot of calls from unknown numbers so my husband taught me this technique that when they are from unregistered numbers, I should not answer it and wait for a voice message if it is something urgent. I also learned to search the code where the number is originating from. These scammers are getting so creative!

  • Ingrid Rizzolo

    I am glad you addressed this issue in your post. These telephone are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and annoying. Now i can getting better at recognizing them as there is a pause before they begin to speak. I would also try the tips as asking them to spell their names and getting their call back telephone number. Thanks for sharing.

  • prabshi

    I have a friend who was called for and told that the police would be at the door by and to make sure that someone watches over the kids if she didn’t have the required amount of money by the said time and even got a call from the police too. She called 911 to verify the infomation to be untrue

  • aisasami

    My rule of thumb is that if I don’t know the number, I wouldn’t answer it. If it is important, than they can leave a voice message.

  • Thomas P Dillon

    oh I have the time of my life with spam or scam calls. There are some hilarious videos on youtube as well. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t see the clues and give up their info so easily. This is a great run down of how to make sure if you’re dealing with someone legit or not.

  • Neil Alvin Nicerio

    Ohhhh. These scumbags are really persistent here in our country. Surprisingly a lot of people are still fooled and scammed by this people. I hope they get to read this article.

  • nikkig916

    We got one of these recently. They are smart, they had my husband’s ssn and more info. Thing is real companies will ask you to confirm, not hand you the info over the phone.
    The funny thing is, my husband bothers them repeatedly until they stop calling. It is pretty funny because they just threatened to call the cops because of terrorist threats. We laughed because she was screaming and cursing and I really think just had nothing else to say.

  • Charu Sharma

    This can be really scary. Such people are well trained and proficient in whatever they do. Thank you for the tips.

  • amayszingblogs

    This is really helpful post. Scammers they do everything to get their want so be careful to those people that you can trust. and also in the phone cases they can’t stop attempt until they get their want. 🙂 This is one of great reminder,

  • Coleccion De Fotografia

    I know how easy it is to fall for a scam without even knowing it’s a scam, some unlawful elements out there are just so trained to do it that you would not even know that you are slowly falling for it. Plus, they seem to know everything about you that their stories matches on with your life. All we need to do is just to be vigilant and extra careful. Thanks for posting!

  • Eric Gamble

    It is amazing how creative telephone scammers are getting these days. Thank you for shedding a light on how to be safe and to beat telephone scammers at their own game. I often worry about people my mother’s age who may not know what is going on. This message definitely needs to get out there more!

  • The Panicked Foodie

    I get a lot of strange calls too from numbers I don’t recognize. The best thing I have found to do, is to just not answer if I don’t know the number. I figure if it is someone important, they will leave me a voicemail. I have used this strategy for several years, and I haven’t missed anything important yet!

  • Sauumye Chauhan

    This is so informative. I usually just listen to how they are speaking and the general vibe of the call and then I disconnect if I feel it might be a fraud call.

  • Matthew Gallant Ukwadia

    Great tips, this is so informative. I normally get them caught whenever they call me mostly requesting for my bank card details

    • Kristina @ Spirit of the Soul

      I used to just not answer unknown calls. Unfortunately, these have been coming in on my business phone as well. Very disappointing.

  • Sheila

    This gets to be such a pain. Now I get calls from an interactive robot. Sounds like a person but I can’t even tell them to take me off their list, which is also illegal. The numbers are local so you are not sure who it really is. Thanks for the info!

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