Meridian Township police warn residents of familiar phone scams

Meridian Township Police Department
Meridian Township Police Department(WILX)
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 3:33 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Officials with the Meridian Township Police Department are warning residents regarding a rise in phone scams.

The department said some people have lost their life savings to phone scams.

“In some scams, they act friendly and helpful. In others, they might threaten or try to scare you,” the department wrote on social media. “One thing you can count on is that a phone scammer will try to get your money or your personal information to commit identity theft.”

Related: ‘Did not come from the Department of Attorney General’ -- Dana Nessel warns of imposter Facebook poster

The department released the following tips to help residents recognize a phone scam:

  • There is no prize. The caller might say you were “selected” for an offer or that you’ve won a lottery. But if you have to pay to get the prize, it’s not a prize.
  • You won’t be arrested. Scammers might pretend to be law enforcement or a federal agency. They might say you’ll be arrested, fined, or deported if you don’t pay taxes or some other debt right away. The goal is to scare you into paying. But real law enforcement and federal agencies won’t call and threaten you.
  • You don’t need to decide now. Most legitimate businesses will give you time to think their offer over and get written information about it before asking you to commit. Take your time. Don’t get pressured into making a decision on the spot.
  • There’s never a good reason to send cash or pay with a gift card. Scammers will often ask you to pay in a way that makes it hard for you to get your money back — by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card or cash reload card, or using a money transfer app. Anyone who asks you to pay that way is a scammer.
  • Government agencies won’t call to confirm your sensitive information. It’s never a good idea to give out sensitive information like your Social Security number to someone who calls you unexpectedly, even if they say they’re with the Social Security Administration or IRS.

If this sounds familiar, these phone scams have occurred multiple times across the state of Michigan.

Read: Attorney General Nessel didn’t ask you for a gift card

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has released multiple warnings about scam attempts that use similar patterns. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website, or if you have questions call 877-765-8388.

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