If you are reading this then no doubt you received a phone call from the above person. To be honest, I haven’t received a call. However, many of my readers have and you can read that post (and their experiences) here – http://iamjulienne.com/blog/2014/08/newspaper-blackmail-scam/
My unprofessional opinion is that, these calls can be from:
1) Scammers – trying to scare you into paying money
2) Debt Collection Agencies – trying to scare you into paying your debt BUT if you don’t have any debt (and don’t know what they are talking about) then it’s most likely #1 – Scammers.
What to do when you receive a call:
1) DON’T PANIC – Really. Try to remain calm. It is not as bad as you think.
2) WRITE DOWN as many details as you can remember (names, designations, companies, addresses, phone numbers)
3) FACT-CHECK – meaning, using the details you have from step #2 and run a background check on who they say they are. Google them, google their company, find out if they are real. Get as much information as you can.
4) VERIFY – Guaranteed, they will give you a telephone number to call. The phone number will supposedly belong to X company where you can make “pakiusap” your situation. This is the part where they try to extort money from you. So.. This is what you do, find out if that company really exists. If it does, call the number in the yellow pages or official website. I repeat, call the number that you FIND.. not the number that they give you. When you call the number that you find, ask them if there is a person named ______ working there. Give them the name of the person who called you. Talk to the person at the end of the line, confirm with them the story. “hello, I received a call from Mr. Juan Dela Cruz, he said that I should call and find out regarding my situation. I just want to inquire, is Mr. Juan DelaCruz working there? Is there someone else I can talk to about his call? etc etc.”
5) ANALYZE – Try to see if the info matches the information you have from the scamming call. For example, if the phone number that caller gives you DOES NOT MATCH the company number, then you already know you have a problem. If the company says that there is no Juan DelaCruz working there then you already know you have a scammer on your hands. Is Mr. Juan DelaCruz really the CEO of “the Company”? Think about the content of their message. Is it true that you did not pay your credit card? Is it true that you borrowed money and did not pay it back? What is true? What is not true? Analyze.
6) RESIST THE URGE TO CALL – DO NOT call the numbers they give you. Why? Because it’s a modus operandi. The people at the other end of the numbers are also involved in their scheme. Of course they will say the same story as the original caller to make them seem legit. Again, CALL THE NUMBERS YOU FIND.
7) ASK QUESTIONS – There is a big chance they might try to call you again to scare you. They might even give you a deadline to “fix the problem” when they call, ask as many questions as you can and go back to step #2. Write all that info down.
Some examples of questions —
– Where did you get my number?
– Where do you work again?
– Where is your office?
– What is the charge against me?
– What credit card are you referring to?
– Who did you you say you are connected to?
– (if newspaper) – What issue? When will it be published?
If you still don’t get answers – then consult a professional lawyer. Again, this is a lawyer that YOU KNOW. And NOT a lawyer that they tell you to talk to.
If this is happening to you now – please leave a comment and share your experience so that others may benefit from the knowledge. Awareness is key.
BE SMART EVERYONE.
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