News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

MCSO says telephone scams on the increase in area – don’t get fooled

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office  has received information that there is a phone scam going around the area.  

Here are a few tips to remember and to help identify phone scammers. Phone scams come in many forms, but they tend to make similar promises and threats, or ask you to pay certain 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. 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.  Real 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 making a decision 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 or 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.

You shouldn’t be getting all those calls. If a company is selling something, it needs your written permission to call you with a robocall. And if you’re on the National Do Not Call Registry, you shouldn’t get live sales calls from companies you haven’t done business with before. Those calls are illegal. If someone is already breaking the law calling you, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. At the very least, it’s a company you don’t want to do business with.

Always remember to hang up and call a number back that you look up (not the number on your caller I.D or one they gave you).  Do not send money ever!  

For more information visit https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/phone-scams.

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