New phone scam reported as holidays approach

1 year 8 months 2 days ago November 24, 2015 Nov 24, 2015 Tuesday, November 24 2015 Tuesday, November 24, 2015 5:53:00 PM CST in News
By: Steve Dawson, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The holidays are a time when phone scammers take advantage of people who look to donate to a worthy cause.

The United Way of Central Missouri said it received a complaint from a local company, which said an unknown person called them claiming to represent the Randolph County branch of the United Way. The scammer said the person needed to "update their records" and asked for personal information.

Boone County sherriff's detective Tom O' Sullivan says phone scams have "intensified" since the spring. O' Sullivan said the best defense against scammers is to be suspicious of anyone who won't immediately provide their name and the organization they represent.

"If you don't know who's on the other end of the phone, assume they're trying to rip you off, or at the very least, they're trying to annoy you. That's as simple as I can say it," O'Sullivan said.

Sean Spence of the Mid-Missouri Better Business Bureau said the practice of scammers who try to get personal and financial information over the phone is called phishing. He said scammers are more active during the holidays, and look to get access to their victims' wallets.

"It's a time when people are giving, are looking to donate to charity. It's a pretty opportune time for a scam artist," Spence said.

Although sometimes the phishing is random, he said, scammers will sometimes target senior citizens because they tend to be more willing to give than those in other age demographics.

Anyone who suspects they might be on the phone with a scammer, Spence said the best thing to do is simply ask for their name and number and offer to call them back. It's important to look up the caller's purported organization and title to verify if they're legitimate, he said.  He also recommended checking the Better Business Bureau's website to keep up with current phone scams.

 O' Sullivan said most people aren't falling for most of the phone scams, but he thinks the best way to handle a suspicious caller is a button-push away.

"Learn to hang up," he said.

Join the conversation on our Facebook page.

More News

Grid
List
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A detective has testified that a 16-year-old said it had "been a really fun day" when... More >>
39 minutes ago July 28, 2017 Jul 28, 2017 Friday, July 28 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017 9:20:14 AM CDT in News
SUNSET HILLS, Mo. (AP) — A suburban St. Louis woman whose water broke during a traffic jam has delivered her... More >>
45 minutes ago July 28, 2017 Jul 28, 2017 Friday, July 28 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017 9:14:07 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County sheriff’s deputies are looking for a man wanted on suspicion of several felonies, including robbery, kidnapping... More >>
50 minutes ago July 28, 2017 Jul 28, 2017 Friday, July 28 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017 9:09:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a 34-year-old man has been charged with driving while intoxicated in a deadly... More >>
1 hour ago July 28, 2017 Jul 28, 2017 Friday, July 28 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017 8:10:33 AM CDT in News
JEROME, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a woman has drowned in the Gasconade River in mid-Missouri. The Missouri State... More >>
3 hours ago July 28, 2017 Jul 28, 2017 Friday, July 28 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017 6:31:24 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis judge declared a mistrial after jurors were unable to agree on a verdict... More >>
3 hours ago July 28, 2017 Jul 28, 2017 Friday, July 28 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017 6:24:45 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on storms that caused widespread flooding in the Kansas City area (all times... More >>
3 hours ago July 28, 2017 Jul 28, 2017 Friday, July 28 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017 6:18:24 AM CDT in News
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A man has been charged in a hit-and-run crash that fatally injured a woman in a... More >>
3 hours ago July 28, 2017 Jul 28, 2017 Friday, July 28 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017 6:10:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A car passenger who was shot on Interstate 70 in St. Louis has died, days after... More >>
3 hours ago July 28, 2017 Jul 28, 2017 Friday, July 28 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017 6:04:39 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The children of a woman who was among four people killed when a steam-filled tank weighing... More >>
3 hours ago July 28, 2017 Jul 28, 2017 Friday, July 28 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017 5:59:52 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City YMCA’s Back-to-School Drive is aiming to help more kids in the community's elementary schools.... More >>
8 hours ago July 28, 2017 Jul 28, 2017 Friday, July 28 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017 1:42:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A former University of Missouri student filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity, the Alpha... More >>
12 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 9:38:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Local businesses heard plans for the Nifong Boulevard Improvement Project at a meeting Thursday. The project is... More >>
15 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 6:39:00 PM CDT in News
CENTRALIA - Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, joined a bipartisan collective of senators with the goal of ending China's ban on... More >>
15 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 6:12:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The American Red Cross issued an emergency appeal earlier this month for eligible individuals to donate blood or... More >>
15 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 6:10:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - When finding a day care facility, parents expect their child to be taken care of, but former employees... More >>
18 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 3:32:00 PM CDT in Target 8
JEFFERSON CITY - Bus drivers from First Student transportation company say they have plenty of positive stories about their experiences... More >>
18 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 3:28:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – A rally was held to speak out against what some are calling discriminatory polices and legislation, following President... More >>
19 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:54:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
10am 76°
11am 79°
12pm 80°
1pm 82°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Masters of Illusion
7:30p
Masters of Illusion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld