6 On Your Side Answers: How do scammers use local numbers to pos

6 On Your Side Answers: How do scammers use local numbers to pose as law enforcement?


6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - If there is one group of people that keeps up with the latest changes in technology, it is con artists.

Anita from Morristown asks: "How do con artists use local phone numbers when they pose as a local police officer?"

Phony calls supposedly from local law enforcement

Up to date, savvy con artists take advantage of technology that changes what is visible on your caller ID unit, allowing them to pose as the local sheriff or police officer when they call to tell you there is a warrant out for your arrest and that you need to pay a fine in order to avoid criminal charges.

Of course, the caller doesn't take credit cards, only a pre-paid debit card or a wire transfer will do and they claim you had better pay it pronto.

Law enforcement officers will never call you to collect a debt; you'd get a letter. So, don't be fooled into thinking you are about to be arrested.

Fake Publisher's Clearing House calls

This is one you've heard from us before.

You receive a phone call from an 876 area code and the gentleman on the other end with a Jamaican accent is calling to tell you that you have won the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes, which consists of a large amount of money and a new Mercedes Benz.

He makes a promise that the Prize Patrol is waiting to deliver your new car and money, but first you must purchase a GreenDot Money Pak card to cover taxes and other processing fees.

Once you call back and give him the Green Dot card number, you never hear from him again and your money is gone.

Remember, Publisher's Clearing House does call to tell say you are a winner, and if you won a prize, you should never send money to collect your winnings.

Timeshare resale scams

Some fraudulent operators are targeting timeshare owners, calling to say they have a buyer ready to purchase your timeshare at a ridiculously inflated price.

Related story: Jefferson County man tricked by timeshare scam

The timeshare scammer will require that you pay up front fees for the service, such as closing costs. However, once you send the money, you never hear from the scammer again.

We get so excited when good news is relayed on the phone, like you've won a pile of money. Con artists prey on our greed. Don't fall victim

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