Phone Scammers Target Owatonna
"It's your grandson. I need money. Don't tell my mom or dad."
It's a scam that has circulated for years. A KRFO listener received such a call this week and phoned in to ask me to warn others not to fall for this. IRS. Jury duty. Social Security Number compromised. The deluge of phony calls is reaching a staggering point.
The Rice County Sheriff's Office recently warned of a scam where the caller indicated the person had missed jury duty and owed a fine. In August, the Owatonna Police Department issued an advisory about scammers claiming to be from the IRS and threatening jail time if a fine wasn't paid right away. The IRS doesn't operate this way and would contact people through the mail first.
I know a person who recently fielded a phone call from a recorded message that his Social Security Number had been compromised. The Social Security Administration says this is a growing problem.
A fellow employee's mother received the same grandchild-scam call a few months ago while he was with her. When she handed the phone to him, the caller hung up.
I encouraged the caller who phoned me Tuesday to contact the Owatonna Police Department as well. Bottom line is you need to be extremely careful when giving out information over the phone. Or maybe let everything go to voicemail. I doubt scammers will leave a message, while a legitimate caller will probably leave a message.