Mason City police warning residents of scam calls
MASON CITY, Iowa (KTTC) – Mason City Police Department is warning residents about a wide variety of scam phone calls.
According to MCPD, these fraudsters may allege to be employees of local utility companies, physicians, law enforcement, collection agencies, legal firms, etc.
Some of the scammers will spoof their phone numbers to make it appear as if the call is originating from a local phone number.
The scammers usually try to convey urgency and say a loved one will die if they can’t get life-saving surgery, someone will be imprisoned or arrested, your bank account will be drained/frozen, online dating apps, your computer will be hacked, etc. unless you immediately pay the caller a sum of money through an electronic payment option.
Typically, these e-pay options involve gift cards/preloaded credit cards, bit coin, or some type of e-payment.
Once you transmit the e-payment or provide the scammer the card number and pin number, they can transfer the money remotely. The transaction is untraceable and the victim is out the money.
Besides conveying a short amount of time to comply with the caller’s demands, the scammers typically instruct the recipient not to discuss this with anyone else or else bad things could happen.
Many times, the scammers try to keep the recipient on the phone until the victim completes the electronic transaction of funds.
If you receive one of these calls unexpectedly, write down their name and phone number and then hang up. Contact the local-related entity by looking up their phone number. Don’t trust the number the scam caller tells you to call. Look it up independently.
Legitimate businesses do not operate this way. You should always be able to get a receipt for money paid. If the caller is legitimate, it should also be easy to corroborate their claims by contacting a local entity.
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