Tips on Dealing with Phone Scams - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Tips on Dealing with Phone Scams

LA CROSSE- Wis. (WXOW)- Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Minnesota and North Dakota turns its attention to the telephone: a favorite tool of many scammers.

There are things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming the next victim.  If you receive a phone call from someone who makes threats, tells you that you've won a cash prize or demands immediate payment in regards to a debt you're unfamiliar with, those are all signs the call is likely fraudulent.  BBB advises the following:

- Don't panic and stay calm.  Always get verification of any alleged debts in writing.  Remember, legitimate collection agents cannot threaten you with arrest, and even if you owe a debt, you still have rights through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

- Never give out any financial information over the phone.

- Be realistic. You can't win a lottery or contest you didn't enter.

- Think about what you're being told. If a caller claims to be with your bank or your credit card company and wants your account information so they can verify it, they aren't telling the truth.  Your bank and credit card company have this information.

-Listen closely.  Be alert for poor grammar or heavy accent considering many fraudulent calls originate overseas.

-Trust your instincts.

- Don't rely on caller ID.  Scammers can use technology to make it appear as though their calls are coming from legitimate businesses.

If you receive a call from an unknown number, it's best to ignore it and let it go to voicemail.

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