Scammers prey on Coachella Valley Locals, Phone Numbers

Max Rodriguez

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Scam phone calls can pose as local number and speak different languages, these are all tactics to seem as the real deal but it is important to know when the callers are fake and what to do when they call.

Bob Cuccias received a suspicious phone call recently, it said his cellphone service would end if he does not pay.

Cuccias said, “Before we get started just to verify everything, give us your pass code and then your credit card number to verify your account, and I said this is just not right.”

He laughs mid-sentence because he knows it is outlandish for a company to call asking for personal information, so he did not follow suit and instead.

Cuccias said, “I hung up and called AT&T and they investigated and they said, look these companies can disguise their phone numbers.”

His cell phone service provider told him the number was from India and disguised as a 1800-number. But pretending to be AT&T is just one of many fronts for scammers.

Sean McGuire is a senior accountant at Brennan & Company and he said he has heard concerns from his clients over calls claiming lawsuits by the IRS.

“If you’re getting sued by the IRS they are not going to call you with this kind of phone call.”

He said an unknown callers asking for a immediate payment should automatically raise a red flag.

McGuire said, “It’s always best to hang-up with the person that you’re talking to and call back with the number that you know.”

He said people who fall into the scam and actually wire money to these callers may never see their money returned.

Local police said all suspicious calls should be reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center that is overseen by the FBI. In most cases the fraudulent calls come from overseas, therefore falling under the jurisdiction of federal agents.

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