Better Business Bureau: Impostor scam calls increase during pandemic

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 10:32 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - It all starts with an unexpected phone call.

The Federal Trade Commission documented that Americans have lost as much as 450 million dollars to scams, and even more since the CARES act passed in late March.

“About 44 percent of Americans, people in the United States have been victimized by one of these scams” said Phylissia Clark.

The Better Business Bureau suspect Americans have lost millions of dollars after encountering impostors.

“In the era of COVID, there are all of these new agencies, new angles and new hooks that scammers have preyed upon, to get you to let down your guard” Clark said.

Phylissia Clark with the Better Business Bureau said Texas is the third most impacted state, and Grayson County is a hot spot for these phony callers.

”Nearly one hundred cases, of people telling us that government impostors have tried to get information from them and that includes Grayson County and the Sherman area” Clark said.

Special Agent with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Gary Smith said these callers are usually very aggressive, and have some sort of information that could be used to persuade you.

”We’ve seen a lot of the scammers change their operations to exploit the CARES act, so for us as an agency, what we’ve seen is people trying to exploit the stimulus payments that are being mailed out, or deposited into tax payers bank accounts” said Smith.

Smith said the majority of these calls come from overseas, but they will use numbers that look official, some even use a local area code.

“If they’re getting a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, wanting to talk about their stimulus payment, or try to speed up their receipt of their stimulus payment, they should suspect that that is fraud, and they should hang up the phone” Smith said.

He said if you get a call from someone claiming to be from a government agency, hang up and contact your local authorities.

Copyright 2020 KXII. All rights reserved.

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