GENESEO – The Geneseo Police Department is reminding residents to be wary of scam phone calls in the wake of a flood of complaints and reports.
Geneseo Police Chief Eric Osganian says that the best thing to do when you receive a suspicious call is to hang up.
“If you receive a scamming call, please hang up,” said Osganian. “Don’t press any buttons on your phone. Don’t press 1 to speak to someone — or to be taken off the call list. You’ll just get more annoying calls. And never give any of your financial information, like your credit card or bank account numbers.”
The scam calls reportedly sound something like this:
“Hi, this is Rachel from Card Services calling about your credit card account. It appears that you are now eligible for a significantly lower interest rate on your account. However, this offer is about to expire, so please press 1 now to be transferred to a live representative who can assist you in securing your lower interest rate.”
“It’s a scam,” said Osganian. “If you press ‘1,’ you’re connected to a scammer who will ask for your credit card number and other personal information. They’ll make promises to lower your interest rate permanently, sometimes to a ridiculously low 0 percent, but charge a fee that can be as high as $5,000. But their promises aren’t true. There are no guarantees for permanently lowered interest rates. And it’s against the law to charge a fee up-front for these services. Most people who pay the fee don’t get a lower rate. In fact, they get into worse debt and may find unauthorized charges on their cards.”
Osganian added that scammers often use shady tactics like telling you to stop paying your bills, lying to your credit card company so that you qualify for a hardship program, and not telling you that you’ll have to pay additional fees to transfer a balance.
You can report such a call to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting complaints.donotcall.gov or calling 1-888-382-1222.
“Scammers have been annoying people for years with their illegal robocalls,” said Osganian, “and the Federal Trade Commission and the Geneseo Police Department are working hard to stop them.”