Police Chief

Ask the Chief

“Ask The Chief” is a weekly post allowing readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in the city of Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance our community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs, and the Department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us. 





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Sep 03

September 2, 2019 - Phone Scams

Posted on September 3, 2019 at 12:04 PM by Kate Berg

September 2, 2019

Ask the Chief

Q: Is there a way to report phone scams? I just received a call, saying they are from Xcel and going to shut my power off, it even has their phone number on caller ID, but it wasn't Xcel! 

Image of a woman speaking on a cell phone with the words, "Hang Up!; Phone Scams; What should you

A: What you experience is called spoofing, which allows the caller to select and enter the number they want to display on your caller ID or cellular phone. Caller ID spoofing masks their identity and exact location, so the caller is making appears to be calling from a legitimate or local number. Whatever the caller's message is, don’t engage, and HANG UP!

What should you do if you experience this type of phone call? Hang up and don't engage. Next, you need to register your phone with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
(https://www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx). After your number is on the registry for 31 days, you then need to report these unwanted calls to the FTC by filling out a form on their website or calling 888-225-5322. 

The top three scams that we have heard of are the “grandparent scam," where the caller states they are a grandchild in trouble and they want you to wire money to help them out; second is the "utility scam," where the caller states your electricity, gas, etc. will be disconnected unless you pay them immediately; and third is the "IRS or warrant scam," where agents are en route to your house to arrest you unless you send payment for your taxes or outstanding warrant immediately. Remember, government agencies and utility companies will have sent you previous notices and will not require you to “immediately” wire them money. Whenever you hear the phrase "to wire money," HANG UP. Also, they will not ask you to pay with iTunes cards.

Whether robocalls, scams, or spoof, report them to the FTC. If you fall victim to the scam and suffer a financial loss or loss of your personal information, such as a bank account, contact the Red Wing Police Department at the non-emergency number 651-385-3155 and report the loss immediately.

Resources: 
1. FCC: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us
2. Do Not Call: (https://www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx)
3. FTC: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
4. MN Attorney General:
https://www.ag.state.mn.us/Consumer/Publications/CanYouHearMe.asp

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