Use caution with unsolicited callers

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Southwest Missouri reminds area residents to be cautious when talking with individuals who call unsolicited.

"There is no need for anybody to call you and ask for personal, identifiable information over the phone," said Judy Mills, president and chief executive officer of BBB of Southwest Missouri.

BBB has recently received several calls from individuals regarding unsolicited phone calls where the caller attempts to obtain personal information such as Social Security numbers and bank account information. Citizens should never give this type of information over the phone.

Examples of schemes used by unsolicited callers to obtain personal information are listed below.

* A caller indicates a new Medicare card is being mailed and requests Medicare or banking information.

* A caller indicates they are with a medical supply company and need to verify the banking information where a Social Security check is deposited.

* A caller indicates that the citizen has won a large sum of money and requests banking information to deposit the winnings.

* A caller indicates they are a grandchild of the citizen and are stranded in a foreign country without money. The caller asks the citizen to wire money to them to help rescue them.

Individuals who receive any of the above calls or other calls that request personal, identifiable information should simply hang up the telephone.

To report a scam, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website at

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