Lathrop Police Services wants you to know that if the person on the phone is offering you something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For the last month, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department and Lathrop Police Services have been warning local residents about an ongoing phone scam in which callers pose as representatives of a financial institution, offering to cut interest rates on credit cards.
By using a fake caller ID tag and using a number that cannot be traced, the callers “fish” for information that can be used against their victims at a later date.
According to the bulletin that Lathrop Police Services posted on the City of Lathrop’s website, anybody receiving a call from an agency posing as a financial institution that fits those parameters are urged not to release any personal or financial information and are encouraged to contact the authorities with as much information as possible.
While the source of the recent phone calls reported to law enforcement is different, the start of April typically marks where there is a noticeable upswing in scam phone solicitations from people claiming to be representatives of the Internal Revenue Service soliciting for past-due tax bills.
The scam was so widespread in recent years that the Federal Trade Commission updated its website to automate the complaint process, and added language warning people about what to look out for when it comes to fake IRS solicitations, and how to report them.
The IRS, which never contacts people who owe money by telephone without sending a bill in the mail first, urges people to be wary of any solicitation in which the person calling demands that the taxes be paid promptly and without dispute over the amount owed, and requests that payment be sent via any sort of untraceable, prepaid debit card.
According to their website, the scams initially targeted older residents, those new to the United States, and those that speak English as a second language, but have since expanded to nearly all residents. And they have proved to be at least moderately successful – victimizing somebody in every state in the nation.
Those that feel they have been solicited by a telephone scam are encouraged not to share any of their personal information with the caller, but get as much information about them as possible about them and report the exchange to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office at 209.468.4400.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.