We all have had them — calls on our home phone or even mobile phones telling us about our warranty or that we can take a major loan. But, for the most part, we know that they are a phony call from the moment we get the number. Sometimes, the number is similar number to the one you have and you think it could be someone local. But, the scammers know that we have evolved and know their “M.O.”
Now, you will get a call from a scammer with the phone number and name of a loved one.
Recently, that happened to my son. He received a call from me at 2:00 am. He was worried so he picked up the phone. There was a strange man on the other end of the line saying that he had me hostage and wanted money to get him to Baton Rouge. He could hear screaming in the background but couldn’t tell if it were me.
Strangely, the number that appeared on his phone was my number, and said, “mom.”
He was with a friend and he had her call me. At first, I saw an 845 area code and didn’t pick it. It was 2 am in the morning. But when the person was persistent, I got nervous and picked up.
“Hi, this is Derek’s friend. He’s okay,” she said.
“What do you mean? What happened to Derek?” I screamed into the phone with a groggy voice.
He picked up. Everything is fine, he said. “I just wanted to know if you are okay,” he said.
“I’m fine. It’s 2 am in the morning. I’m sleeping. Well, now I’m awake,” I said.
The next morning, he told me what happened. Since this is a growing trend, I thought I would share this experience here and offer tips on what to do if this happens to you.
I gathered some of these from the fcc.gov website:
- Don’t say the person’s name – if it’s your mom’s phone number or if it’s a friend, don’t tell the scammer who it is. Let them disclose the information if they know it.
- If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
- Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with “Yes” or “No.”
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords, or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
- If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request.
- Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
- If you feel like you’ve been a victim of one of these calls, contact fcc.gov/.
Keep a clear head and think accordingly. I hope you never experience this, but if you do, I hope these tips help.