Police warning of US Treasury Department phone scam

Bay City News
Thursday, July 16, 2015

SAN MATEO, Calif. -- Police in San Mateo are warning residents of another phone scam, this one involving callers claiming to be U.S. Department of the Treasury agents, police said.

The caller claims the victim is getting an award or the victim owes money, police said. If the victim is getting an award, the caller asks for personal information in order to send out the award.

Police are encouraging residents to trust their instincts when they get a call. Police said if it sounds suspicious, it usually is.

Officers are telling residents to never give out personal information over the phone when someone calls unexpectedly to solicit business, services or information.

Police said it may be a scam when an unsolicited caller says, "Your computer has a virus," "you have to make up your mind right away," "you trust me right?" or "you don't need to check our company with anyone."

Police said telemarketers must give residents the business's name, say it's a sales call and tell residents what they're selling, before making a pitch.

If a caller says an offer is free and asks for money, ask them why, police said.

Telemarketers may only call between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., police said.

Police are asking residents to report any suspicious behavior to (650) 522-7700 or 911 for emergencies. Residents can also call the police department's secret witness line at (650) 522-7676 or report a tip online.