Along with email and online scams, there is a recent trend across the country that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning the public to be vigilant towards.
Scammers are calling and texting potential victims, claiming to be calling from The Consumer Financial Bureau. Seniors are the primary targets for these callers. People have been scammed out of thousands of dollars and some have even been the victims of identity theft.
New Phone Scam
The scam is usually through text messages or phone calls. The imposter then tells the recipient that they’ve won or are owed money that they didn’t expect, like in a class-action lawsuit or a lawsuit, or that they’re entitled to a payout from a U.S. government agency.
Then, the scammer will tell you that in order to collect the money, you must first pay the taxes or some other large upfront fee. They may continue to find “reasons” for you to pay more fees or taxes. It is all part of the scam. If you try to refuse, they could begin to get aggressive with you and try to threaten you. If you pay the money, they’ll keep coming back, wanting more.
Report Your Scammer
The BBB stresses that this isn’t the way the Consumer Financial Bureau – or any federal agency – would contact people. Any form of outreach other than traditional mail through the United States Post Office should be an immediate red flag. Additionally, The Consumer Financial Bureau would never ask for money up front or personal information like your credit card or social security numbers.
The best thing to do if you do receive one of these calls is simply hang up. You should then report the attempted scam to your local BBB who can give you the number to your local Consumer Financial Bureau and you can confirm any suspicions you have.
Share these tips with your friends, family, and community. Staying vigilant is staying safe!