If there's one thing we as humanity collectively hate it's phone scams. They are relentlessly irritating. Now, it seems, phone scammers have met their match in the form of Eau Claire, Wisconsin Police Information Officer Kyle Roder.
Officer Roder got a call stating that is was the Internal Revenue Service and that they needed to speak with him urgently regarding an issue that could cause him to be arrested. Being a police officer himself, he knew this was bull... er.. inaccurate information.
To help prove a point about the dangers of these scammers, Officer Roder called the number back and recorded the entire exchange for a Facebook video, in which the person on the other end attempts to get him to reveal private personal information. He recommends that in situations like this, the best thing to do is to just hang up on the caller "or not answer at all."
Speaking to reporters about the video, Officer Roder said, "We put it out there thinking maybe the local community would see it and understand that there's a scam going around. We wanted to show: This is what it looks like, so that you don't have to go through it. Instead, it's gone much farther, and when we get that discussion and those comments, that just means that many more people are aware of the scam nationally and internationally so that we don't have more victims."
He also went on to say, "Most companies are not going to going to cold call you and threaten you as the IRS scam typically does. The IRS is not going to call you. They're not going to elicit that fear from you. That's what all scams do, they play off of some type of an emotion — whether it's fear or another factor. If you're getting a call or you're getting an email that's 'very urgent,' be careful of that."
When asked about reporting scam callers, Officer Roder said that there are several options available. He stated, "Right on the IRS' website, the Federal Trade Commission's site and the Better Business Bureau's site. It's also good for us to know as a local municipal police department."
He added, "Typically, we get calls on a daily basis on these. If it's something we haven't seen before, we can put it on citizen's radars. We use social media — Facebook, Twitter — and local news media to put this information out there. The more people who have knowledge of it, and hear what's going on, the less victims we're going to have."
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