Stamas: Be alert for scams

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas is urging area families to be mindful of scams and to take steps to protect their personal information.

“Scam artists are constantly trying new ways to disguise who they are and trick people into giving them money or valuable information,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “I encourage everyone to continue to be on the lookout for scams. Residents can avoid most scams by never clicking on unfamiliar email links, opening emails from unknown senders or giving out their credit card, bank account or Social Security numbers over the phone.”

One common scam is a person making unsolicited phone calls claiming to be a tax official or from Medicare.

“State and federal tax officials will never initially contact residents by phone demanding immediate payment, and they will never threaten to call the police to arrest you for not paying,” Stamas said. “If you get a call like that or if someone calls claiming to be from Medicare, asking for your Social Security number or bank information, hang up. It’s a scam.”

Due to a voice-recording scam, people should not respond to questions that can be answered with “yes” from unknown numbers.

Residents can report a suspected scam to the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-765-8388. Victims of scams should contact their local law enforcement agency. If scammers were able to get credit card or bank account information, residents should contact their financial institution immediately.

The attorney general’s office also offers “Consumer Alerts” at www.michigan.gov/ag under “Services,” including alerts on identity theft and popular scams.

Consumers may place their home and cell phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. To register, residents can call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number they want to register. For more information or to register online, visit www.donotcall.gov.

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