Avoid falling victim to recent phone scam epidemic
JACKSON, Tenn. — “You have randomly been selected by the government to receive government grant money of $9,200,” says the scam artist.
This sounds like a dream come true. But to some people, it could become a nightmare.
“And it’s just a scam. They’re just trying to rob your money,” said Tom Mapes, public information officer for the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.
“You said you’re from the Federal Grants Department?” I asked.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is the U.S. Federal Grants and Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., k?” the scammer says.
Well. I wasn’t about to go on a shopping spree just yet, because that department does not exist.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office says when it come to scammers, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
“Well, I haven’t seen Ed McMahon in the area lately, have you?” Mapes said. “That just doesn’t happen. I mean, I’m sorry. But it’s just not real.”
Scam artists often pose as government agencies or organizations. But officials say they don’t operate in a way that would ever ask you for money or personal information over the phone.
“And there will be a one-time registration fee of $250,” the scam artist says.
“We never make threatening phone calls,” Mapes said. “We never ask for any information regarding credit cards or ask for money. So none of that comes from us.”
It’s unclear how these scam artists get our numbers, and they could be calling from anywhere.
“We’ve even heard reports that sometimes prisoners from state prisons are making these phone calls. So they could be from anywhere. Some are even from outside the country,” Mapes said. “Be aware, be alert and just be on guard. Protect yourself. Save your money.”
The Madison County Sheriff’s Department says if you think you are receiving phone calls of this nature, write down as much information as you can and report it to their office immediately.