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Clarksville Police Department alerts public to Phone Solicitations for Payment Scam

 

Clarksville Police Department - CPDClarksville, TN – The Clarksville Police Department (CPD) would like to make the public aware of two separate Scam incidents that recently took place. Please read the two Narratives below and after, the CPD will provide helpful hints on how to avoid being a victim:

Narrative 1 occurred on January 2nd, 2014 at 7:44pm, the CPD responded to a Fraud/False Pretense incident. The Clarksville victim does not speak much English, which is relevant to the report.

The victim received a phone call earlier in the day from CDE Lightband (not an actual employee from CDE) at the number 931.648.8151, which is the actual number to CDE. The male, who called himself Lagrua Gutierrez, in Spanish, stated that the victim’s meter was about to explode and that they needed to come out and fix it.

Before they could come out and fix it, they needed a deposit. The victim was instructed to go to Walgreens and get a prepaid card, Green Dot Card, where she put $402.95 on it, and give them the number on the back.

The victim was called again by someone named Vanessa Campusano, who spoke in Spanish, and told her that Walgreens did not work so she will have to go to Rite Aid. She ended up buying a prepaid card for $302.95 and doing the same thing.

The victim got another call from a Rosalina Dias, who spoke in Spanish, and bought another prepaid card at Rite Aid for $259.90 and gave them the number again.

The last call was from Lugrua Gutierrez and he told them to go back to Walgreens. She ended up getting another prepaid card for $204.95 and giving the number to him.

The scammers, posing as CDE, never came out to check the meter and they kept making excuses on why they could not come out. The victim’s son called CDE about the incident and they told him that this has happened before.

Narrative 2 occurred on January 3rd, 2014, at 5:22pm, a Clarksville victim advised that she was contacted this morning, over the phone, by an individual claiming to represent a company by the name of “National Association of Fraud Investigators.”

The caller claimed that the victims’s husband took out a loan from “Payday Yes” in 2008 and that if he did not pay the loan back a warrant would be taken out for his arrest.

The victim agreed to pay an installment of $250.00 to the caller; however, she later learned that the company she was contacted by has been involved in several fraudulent activities.

Phone Scam Crimes

Phone Scam crimes (eg. Fraud/False Pretense) are not easily solved or not solved at all, due to the origin of the actual phone calls.

In Narrative 1, the phone call originated overseas. Also, more experienced scam artists get rid of their phone numbers or phones, before they are able to be detected or before the crime is even reported.

So, reducing phone scams starts with the recipient of the call. In order to stop these criminals, the CPD wants to help by making the public aware of current phone scam activities and what to do or what not to do.

Clarksville Police Department Helpful Hints

  • Do not ever give out your financial information over the phone. If a caller continues to ask for this information, hang up the phone.
  • Green Dot Cards or Money Orders: When you are asked for either a Green Dot Card or Money Order over the phone, be WARY right away!!! It is not common practice for businesses to make phone calls to customers regarding overdue accounts or to solicit payment. An established business sends notices in the mail or, usually, has a website to check account information.
  • Never assume a caller is genuine just because they hold some information, such as; name, address, and account details to try to make the call appear legitimate.
  • Banks never call and ask for a four-digit card Pin or ask customers to withdraw money to hand over to them or transfer money to another account.
  • Avoid giving Social Security numbers or credit card numbers over the phone.
  • Don’t call the phone number you received by email or one that was left on your voicemail. Instead, look up the customer service or sales department phone number on the company’s official website.
  • Phone scammers sometimes threaten to arrest, deport, suspend licenses, turn off services (utility companies), etc. A legitimate business will not make such threats over money issues over the phone.

The Clarksville Police Department will continue to share any valuable tips that will help to reduce this type of criminal activity.

At the same time, your assistance is valuable to us. If you know of any type of crime or criminal activity, you can call 931.648.0656 or you can stay anonymous by calling our Crime Stoppers TIPS hotline at 931.645.TIPS (8477).


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