SAVANNAH, GA (May 19, 2015): Financial Crimes investigators with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department are advising the public of yet another scam in which surprised victims are falling prey.

Callers are contacting people via telephone advising them that they or a family member owe a delinquent debt and will try to trick or intimidate the victim into sending money to pay it. The debt never actually existed.

The telephone number provided and listed in written correspondence has been used by scammers in the past.  The company listed has a website, however, it appears to be fraudulent. Investigators continue to seek the callers.

“Financial crimes will continue to investigate the report in an attempt to determine if prosecution is possible,” said Sgt. Jeremy Henry, who commands the Financial Crimes Unit. “Too often such scams are directed against the elderly or people in ill health who can least afford to lose the money. Some of these scams have cost victims tens of thousands of dollars.”

He released the following from the Federal Trade Commission to help residents strengthen their guard against such scams.

A caller may be a fake debt collector if he:

  • seeks payment on a debt for a loan you do not recognize;
  • refuses to provide a mailing address or phone number;
  • asks for personal financial or sensitive information;
  • exerts high pressure to try to scare you into paying, such as threatening to have you arrested or to report you to a law enforcement agency.

If you think that a caller may be a fake debt collector:

  • Ask for a name, company, street address, and telephone number.
  • Stop speaking with the caller.
  • Never give any caller personal financial or other sensitive information. No reputable company would do that.
  • Contact your creditor, if you actually have a debt.
  • Report the call to your local police, Federal Trade Commission, and/or your state’s Attorney General’s office with information about the suspicious caller.