Predatory phone scam threatens victims

Predatory phone scam threatens victims with legal action
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 11:26 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A Greenville woman says scammers keep calling, but the unwanted calls are more than a nuisance.

The Better Business Bureau said it’s an attempt to steal her money.

“It started with a voicemail. It indicated someone that we had never heard of had a report filed against them and numerous complaints,” Kathryn Brown said.

Despite having spam calls blocked, Brown recently received several aggressive messages.

The caller said they would take legal action if she did not respond.

The voicemail said, “Multiple complaints have been filed and there is currently an investigation being conducted. We have made several attempts to contact, but have been unsuccessful. It is imperative that he contact the legal department immediately to get a statement on record for this pending matter. If there is no contact, we will deem the address and employment information as being correct and we will be dispatched out to all locations on file.”

“Within an hour or so, they texted again, referencing the same complaint number and the same phone number to call and I actually had it happen the next day as well,” Brown said.

“We call it a scare tactic,” Vee Daniel, President of Better Business Bureau said.

Brown did not respond, but wants to warn others.

The FCC calls this a voicemail call-back scam. The messages sound urgent and pressure the victim into returning their calls.

“That may be part of the lure that may trigger someone to call,” Brown said.

The BBB said the scammer’s first goal is to engage you, then they get to work stealing personal information.

“They want to get money and say if you pay this now you won’t have anything to worry about, but if you don’t pay you’re going to be arrested and a lot of it is seniors which is really sad,” Daniel said, “There’s somebody telling them they’re going to arrest them so they pay.”

According to the FCC, you should not answer calls or respond to texts from unknown numbers. If you do answer a call and suspect it was spoofed, hang up immediately. Never reveal personal or financial information.