PROVO, Utah – Phone scammers have managed to pocket thousands of dollars from Utahans over the last month.
A post on the Provo Police Facebook page warns about several recent phone scams and said victims lost anywhere from $1,000 to $30,000 in these scams. One scammer convinced the victim they were from the IRS and demanded he purchase $30,000 worth of iTunes gift cards.
Detective Nick Dupaix of the Provo Police Department said emotions play a big role because scammers know their tactics scare people.
“People will give into that fear, and they’ll end up doing what these scammers tell them to do just because they’re afraid,” Dupaix said.
However, Dupaix also said there are ways to prevent becoming the next victim. The most important advice he had is to never give out your personal information on the phone to someone you don’t know and trust.
“You don’t have anything to prove to these people. They have everything to prove to you,” he said.
He emphasized that the government will never ask you to give them gift cards, pay them through Green Dot or pay them through Western Union. The government has certain documents and procedures they use to collect money and will never demand immediate payment over the phone.