Today, just like most days, my cell phone rang. The call was coming from a California number, a location where I don’t know anyone. Usually they at least go to the trouble of matching the area code of my cell phone (Hello Ohio!) when the robocalls come in, but either way, I don’t ever answer my phone for unidentified callers.
This one, though, left a voice mail. That’s different. It was similar to voice mails my wife and other people we know have received, threatening either arrest or legal action for some unidentified charge.
I get where this might upset people, and why they might actually return the call. No one wants to hear that they are about to be served, or arrested. It’s scary. When someone offers to take care of the issue before that happens, you might be tempted to say “yes” to make sure and avoid that scary situation.
Except, that’s not how the legal system works. In the US legal system, you have the right to hear any and all charges against you, and answer them, before you are found guilty. If you owe credit card or other personal debt, first, you don’t generally get arrested for that, but you have the right to see the details of that debt and again, answer in court for it.
If you get a phone call promising to take care of this potential legal situation before you are served and/or arrested, the person on the other end of that call better be able to give you exact details about what you’re being charged with. If they can’t, they also do not have the ability to take care of it for you.
That’s not how any of this works.
If you get a call like this, ignore it, and never give out credit card or banking information to people who can’t give you exact details that you know to be true. Ever.
Speaking of which, I was also sent this link last night. This particular scam isn’t in the article, but there’s some good information on phishing, telephone scams, and generally keeping your credit card information safe. Might be worth a read.