FAYETTE COUNTY, Texas - The Fayette County Sheriff's Office says it has received a number of calls related to spam phone calls claiming to be with Medicare, the IRS, or other agencies.
Investigators say many of the groups placing the spam calls operate outside of the U.S. where little can be done to take action against them.
Often, they use software to generate fake phone numbers or to show a real phone number of someone who is not involved.
They make their way through lists of phone numbers until someone answers, then officials say the scammer will claim the caller needs to give them personal information, wire money, buy gift cards and/or give them card numbers.
The Fayette County Sheriff's office says, while the people placing the calls are hard to stop, there are some things you can do to protect yourself:
- If you don’t recognize the number don’t answer the call. Instead, check messages to see who called. The software these scammers use can register when a call is answered, and will likely result in even more scam calls.
- Do not give out any personal information over the phone unless you are absolutely certain of who you are speaking with.
- If someone calls you claiming to represent the IRS, Medicare, etc. and you think the call may be legitimate, get off of the phone with the caller and contact that agency directly yourself.
- Don’t make payments by gift card, prepaid cards, or wire transfer. These methods are often used by scammers as they are harder to trace.
- If you can, use a call-blocking mobile app to screen your calls. Ask your phone service provider if they offer any blocking tools.