New phone scam hits Mid-Missouri

Related Story

COLUMBIA - A new version of an old scam is targeting some Mid-Missouri residents, and one victim wants others to be aware.  

A KOMU 8 viewer wrote in Thursday and stated they received a suspicious call from a possible scammer.  

The caller told the viewer he was randomly selected to receive $7,000 because he is a good citizen and pays bills on time. The caller asked questions such as what bank account he wanted to use and did he prefer direct deposit or a wire transfer. The caller also gave a number for the viewer to call to retrieve the money including an account number. 

Mike Harrison from the Better Business Bureau said government grant scams like this are not uncommon. Harrison has heard of the same type of story from people in Moberly, Jefferson City and St. Louis. 

"It's cyclical whether it's a government grant scam or a computer tech scam, anything along those lines. It just depends on the time of the year, " Harrison said. "We haven't seen a whole lot here in Central Missouri but we have seen them from time to time."

The KOMU 8 viewer told us that he did not call the company back.

KOMU 8 News called the number back. When confronted, the operator said we had the wrong number and did not know what we were talking about.

"A lot of times they will use robot calls and machines will dial thousands of numbers in a minute and it's really whoever picks up the phone," Harrison said. 

In order to avoid these scams, Harrison gave these important tips: 
  • Delete any unsolicited phone calls or emails 
  • Don't click on any attachments
  • Don't open or click on any links that can lead to a virus being downloaded to your computer. 
  • Anytime someone calls saying you've won a suspicious amount of money, just hang up the phone.