Beware of apparent telephone hoax - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Beware of apparent telephone hoax

Verify who a person is before giving personal information over the phone. Verify who a person is before giving personal information over the phone.
FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

A woman said she believes someone tried to swindle her out of money. She said the caller claimed to be with the Drug Enforcement Agency with a warrant for her arrest.

Christina Lonzo wants to spread the word in hopes of preventing others from being a victim.

A quick Google search of the number that called Lonzo showed dozens of people who reported similar calls from across the country.

"Your mind starts to race. You try to think, 'Did someone try to use my name? Is this an identity problem or something from long ago or what could this possibly be?'" said Lonzo.

She received one of these calls this week.

"I told him, 'No, I don't know who you are. I have nothing to say to you,' and I hung up," she said.

The man called back, this time leaving an alarming message on her machine.

"It regards federal charges that have been brought against you, and we have a search warrant for your property and an arrest warrant for yourself," the message said.

After further investigation, Lonzo said the caller tells you to send them money in exchange for making the warrants disappear.

She said she didn't send any money and now wants to warn others who may fall victim to this hoax.

"Unfortunately, this will just continue unless people become aware that this is going on this is a scam. If they call you, don't panic - just hang up," said Lonzo.

She said she did report the phone calls to local law enforcement.

Investigators say always err on the side of caution, and verify all the details before releasing any personal information, especially if you get a message like Lonzo received.

Investigators said fake calls like these can come from anywhere and are happening more frequently.

They say if you get one of these calls, don't give out any personal or financial information. Report it to the local police department and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

"We're not going to collect money over the phone from you. We're not going to get your personal information or anything like that. We already have that information, so there's no reason we'd be asking for it," said Cliff Billingsley with Florence Police Department. "We may confirm who you are. It's possible we could let you know we have a warrant for your arrest or that you owe money, but then you would have to come in, in person, to do that. We're not going to take checks or any credit card information over the phone."

Before you give our any personal or financial information over the phone, Billingsley said to take down all the information you can from the caller then hang up and look up a direct number for that department or agency.

He said when you call back, verify all the information on your own.

Investigators say if everything matches up, you are probably safe to make a payment over the phone.

However, they say making payments in person is always the best way to be certain you don't fall victim to scams.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Lax vetting on Trump nominees begins to frustrate senators

    Lax vetting on Trump nominees begins to frustrate senators

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 12:47 AM EDT2018-04-25 04:47:40 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 8:32 AM EDT2018-04-25 12:32:10 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon). CIA director Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan Pompeo arrive for a State Dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump at the White House, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). CIA director Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan Pompeo arrive for a State Dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump at the White House, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Washington.

    As President Donald Trump's pick to lead Veterans Affairs skids to a halt, senators from both parties are voicing frustration that the White House is skipping crucial vetting of nominees and leaving lawmakers to...

    More >>

    As President Donald Trump's pick to lead Veterans Affairs skids to a halt, senators from both parties are voicing frustration that the White House is skipping crucial vetting of nominees and leaving lawmakers to clean up the mess.

    More >>
  • Trump travel ban is focus of Supreme Court's last arguments

    Trump travel ban is focus of Supreme Court's last arguments

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 12:49 AM EDT2018-04-25 04:49:52 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 8:32 AM EDT2018-04-25 12:32:05 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jessica Gresko). In this April 23, 2018, photo, people wait in line outside the Supreme Court in Washington, to be in the gallery when the court hears arguments in on April 25, over President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from several mostl...(AP Photo/Jessica Gresko). In this April 23, 2018, photo, people wait in line outside the Supreme Court in Washington, to be in the gallery when the court hears arguments in on April 25, over President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from several mostl...

    The Supreme Court is saving one of its biggest cases for last, weighing President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from several mostly Muslim countries.

    More >>

    The Supreme Court is saving one of its biggest cases for last, weighing President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from several mostly Muslim countries.

    More >>
  • Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator, victim

    Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator, victim

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 12:26 AM EDT2018-04-25 04:26:54 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 8:29 AM EDT2018-04-25 12:29:39 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Slocum). Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial near a cloud of bubbles blown by a protester, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum). Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial near a cloud of bubbles blown by a protester, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.

    Jurors at Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial are poised to start deliberating after a marathon day of closing arguments.

    More >>

    Jurors at Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial are poised to start deliberating after a marathon day of closing arguments.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly