EUFAULA, AL (WTVM) - Eufaula police are warning residents about a new phone scam circulating the area.
Police say they have received several reports of companies calling residents alleging payments due for various crimes.
The newest scam in the Eufaula area is placing calls from 319-774-5774. "Christina" from the fictitious law firm of "Christopher, Pierce, and Washington", advises that a "case has been filed in Barbour County of allegations of check fraud and theft by deception". The "check" in question is usually older than 10 years.
"Christina" may have your name, maiden name and the last four of your social security number. She will advise you, that for a nominal reduced fee, you can give her your credit card information and take care of the "charges" over the phone, and not face the legal proceedings.
Officials say "Christina" sounds very convincing with her legal jargon and scare tactics.
However, police say there are several inherent problems with her spiel, namely the allegations of check fraud. "Cases" and warrants are not issued for "allegations", and law firms do not contact defendants via phone.
The statute of limitations for check fraud in Alabama is two years and a year for other misdemeanor crimes. Any check fraud claim older than that cannot be addressed in a criminal court.
There are many sites on the internet where names, social security numbers and current phone numbers can be obtained for a small fee. Do not be deceived because a caller has some of your vital information.
If you receive a call from this number or other numbers with similar scare tactics, do not give any of your personal information to include credit card numbers or checking account numbers. The best advice is simply to hang up.
If you have caller ID, you can report the call to the Federal Trade Commission. Do not argue with the caller or answer any of their questions.
There are other phone scams that request that you place money on a pre-paid money card and give the "company" the card numbers. These scams are extremely hard to track down and usually originate overseas.
Please remember that legitimate business and legal practices will deliver any court proceedings or notices of funds due either through the mail or personally served by an officer of the court.
Police say they cannot emphasize enough that you should not release any personal information over the phone for a call that was not initiated by you.