Phone scammer accidentally calls police detective

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COLUMBIA - Bad luck for a scammer and good luck for Columbia police may have slowed a phone scam before it had a chance to work.

The scammer started by saying they were from "card member services" and they wanted to help lower the cardholder's interest rate.

Columbia Police Department Spokesperson Bryana Maupin said luckily the department found out about the scam directly.

"The calls that we knew about were actually to CPD staff," Maupin said. "It is coming in from multiple different numbers."

Maupin said the numbers start with 573-881, which should serve as a warning to anyone who gets the call.

"That's usually an indicator as well, saying they are with card member services and they're calling from a local number," Maupin said. "Normally a company that large will not be calling from a local number."

Police said they also think the scammer is going down a list cold-calling random people in the 573 area code.

The Columbia Police Department posted on Facebook warning people about the scam.

KOMU 8 contacted a commenter on the post who said he got a call from one of the numbers the department said was taking part in the scam.

He said he answered the call, and it was an automated message.

The police department encouraged people to be wary of giving out personal information over the phone.