Mason City PD warns of phone scams

(ABC 6 News) – The Mason City Police Department is alerting the public of a phone scams.

The department continues to receive reports from local residents about a wide variety of scam phone calls.

These fraudsters may allege to be employees of local utility companies; physicians; law enforcement;
collection agencies; legal firms, etc. Some of the scammers will spoof their phone numbers to make it appear as if the call is originating from a local phone number.

Police say the scammers usually try to convey urgency – a loved one will die if they can’t get life-saving surgery; someone will be imprisoned or arrested; your bank account will be drained / frozen; online dating apps; your computer will be hacked, etc. unless you immediately pay the caller a sum on money through an electronic payment option.

Typically, these e-pay options involve gift cards / pre-loaded credit cards; bit coin, or some type of e-payment. Once you transmit the e-payment or provide the scammer the card # and pin #, they can transfer the money remotely. The transaction is untraceable and the victim is out the money.

Besides conveying a short amount of time to comply with the caller’s demands, the scammers
typically instruct the recipient not to discuss this with anyone else or else bad things could happen.
Many times, the scammers try to keep the recipient on the phone until the victim completes the
electronic transaction of funds.

If you receive one of these calls unexpectedly. Write down their name and phone number. THEN HANG UP. Contact the local-related entity by looking up their phone number. Legitimate businesses do not operate this way.