Selma Police warn of phone scam

Published 12:57 am Saturday, October 13, 2012

After an alarming and suspicious phone call went to a local resident last week, police want to urge Selma residents, and just about everyone, to take caution with whom they give out their information.

“A citizen received a call from a person who said they were calling to collect on a credit card debt and was seeking account information,” Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley said. “The citizen immediately questioned the caller about seeking personal information and the caller hung up the telephone. The citizen called the number back several times, but no one answered and the line was always busy.”

After the citizen called the Selma Police Department, Riley called the number as well, but found that the number was disconnected. He said this sounds like a familiar scam and said this is the start of scam season.

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“We are going into the holiday season and scammers know that people are in the mood to buy, and they know that people have been saving money and not been buying a lot because of Christmas and Thanksgiving coming up,” Riley said.

The best advice for receiving a call where someone asks about specific personal information is to ask for a number where you can call them back. Ask for a reverse number, ask for a manager and you don’t want to give out that personal information, he said, because it is a tragedy waiting to happen.

Riley mentioned that citizens during this time of year should be on the lookout for online scams that are viruses that alert the computer user that their computer is broken and they have to send in money to fix it. Also, there are checks people receive in the mail for $10,000 saying someone has won money and a prize. These, he said, are scams also.

“The key to all of this is there is no free lunch in this world. Somebody has got to pay for it,” Riley said. “You have got to be on your toes, don’t give any information out.”