INDIANAPOLIS — The Fishers Police Department is warning residents about a string of recent telephone scams targeting citizens.
According to police, the most common scam involves someone calling the victim and accusing them of having an outstanding warrant. The scammer tells the victim that in order to clear their name, they must do exactly what they say, which typically involves the victim sending gift cards for a specific amount.
During the scam, the victim is instructed to stay on the line, not reveal details of the call to anyone, and go to the store to purchase the gift cards or green dot cards.
According to the FPD, several residents have already been taken advantage of in the scam and lost thousands of dollars.
Their advice for residents is to follow these tips:
- Immediately hang up the phone if you do not recognize or know the caller
- Never give out personal information. If you feel the call might be legitimate, you can ask the person to mail you the information
- Never provide gift card numbers to anyone over the telephone
- No legitimate company or organization requires payment via gift cards or green dot card
- No law enforcement agency threatens to arrest people over the phone
- If something does not sound or feel right, hang up the phone
- You are welcome to contact your local law enforcement agency; however, most of these telephone scams originate from overseas and are difficult to trace, if not impossible.
In addition to these tips, the Federal Trade Commission offers consumer advice about phone scams.
Some things they note about recognizing a scam include:
- There is no prize. Often a trick scammer will use is saying you’ve been selected as the winner of something. If you have to pay for something, it is not a prize.
- You do not need to decide now. Most legitimate companies will not put you on the spot with a decision or not give you written information before asking you to commit. This is a trick meant to pressure you.
- And government agencies will not call to confirm sensitive information. Even if someone claims to be from the Social Security Administration or IRS, you should not give out sensitive information like your Social Security number to an unexpected caller.
If you think something is a scam, both the FPD and FTC advise you just to hang up.
If you want to report a possible scam, you use the FTC’s streamlined reporting form at DoNotCall.gov.