A scam phone call that’s blanketing the Upstate claims to be from the US Treasury Department and threatens you with a court summons.
When Blanche and Don McLaughlin got the call, they knew right away it was a scam.
“They threatened with, if you don’t reply or answer you’ll appear before a magistrate or a grand jury for a federal criminal offense,” they said.
What was most concerning to them and many others was that the scammers called back with a second warning.
“It was kind of like a threatening, like if we didn’t know better we would call because we would be afraid that we would be served with papers or such,” said Fran Smith, another scam target.
That fear prompted more than 70 scam targets to report the scam last week alone to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs. Many also contacted 7 News.
“That’s when I called you guys. Let somebody else call this number and find out what’s going on here,” said McLaughlin.
7 News discovered each returned call claims you’ve misdialed, but then cycles through different types of scams that all try to get your personal information, things like bogus life insurance, or a free cruise.
Major Art Littlejohn with the Spartanburg Police Department says you should not call back.
“You don’t want to get on the scam list, it only encourages them to start calling you even more,” he said.
If you do get one of these scam calls, it’s really important to report it to the US Treasury. We found out they add the number to their database, look for investigative leads, and even work with the carrier to terminate service to that number.
To report a scam to the Treasure click here. The Treasury also warns these scams tend to blanket the area before moving on, so warn your friends not to call back.
“Whoever’s on the other end of that phone call is a professional and you’re not and they will have you pouring your heart out and you won’t even know it,” said Don.