Columbus police: Protect yourself from phone scams

With the Christmas season upon us, it is also a time for scammers to try to take your holiday funds away. Columbus Police are warning that you should keep your wits about you so you can keep your finances safe.

This is on the heels of a Columbus woman’s loss of thousands of dollars to scammers who called claiming to be with the federal government. The scammers sound very believable, says Lt Matt Harris with the Columbus Police Department.

The scammers can fool your Caller ID, making the call appear to be coming from a legitimate number.

Warning signs of a phone scam include the caller insisting you pay immediately over the phone or suffer consequences. And scammers will frequently ask you to purchase gift cards or pre-paid debit cards for the payment.  If you receive such a call, he recommends simply hanging up and contacting law enforcement.

Harris said he could think of no legitimate business or law enforcement agency that would ever ask you to pay a debt immediately with the purchase of gift cards.