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What to do if you get scammed

Phone scams are on the rise in Idaho. The Better Business Bureau said Idaho is seeing an 84 percent increase in phone scams since last year.

The BBB said if you are victim of a scam, first file a complaint with your local police department and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office. If you lost a lot of money, the attorney general’s office might be able to help you get some of it back.

If it’s an online scam, call the FBI. Its closest office to eastern Idaho is in Salt Lake City.

If a business scammed you, call the BBB.

Here are some links that may be helpful to you:

Federal Trade Commission

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Office of Attorney General State of Idaho

Better Business Bureau serving the Snake River Region
Idaho Falls office: 208-523-9758

Mike Sewell lives in eastern Idaho and was recently a target of a phone scam. He said over the weekend an international number called his phone. When he answered an automated message said “please enter your 16-digit credit card number.” It then said, “your credit has been compromised, press 1 to protect it and press 2 if you want to cancel the call.” Sewell said he didn’t fall for the scam, but they can easily fool you.

“When you first get the call, it is a little unsettling so you think ‘oh my goodness I better protect my cards,’ ” he said.

Robb Hicken works for the BBB and said Idaho is seeing a lot of fake debt collections. He offers tips on how to recognize the warning signs of a scam: the telemarketer is in a hurry to make their pitch, you get a free bonus if you buy now, you’ve won big money, this is a no risk investment. If you hear the remarks, Hicken’s said you should ask these questions. “Excuse me whose calling? Why are you calling me? If it’s free, why are you asking me to pay for it? These are some of the questions you can ask if you think you’re being scammed,” he said.

Last week a woman from Rexburg filed a complaint with the BBB and Federal Trade Commission. She said the telemarketer told her she was a recipient of a federal grant. She knew it was a scam because they were asking for personal information.

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