MOLINE, Illinois -- A Milan woman said she was nearly duped by a scam phone call because the caller knew her Social Security number. The Quad City Better Business Bureau said it's part of a two-year-old phone scam that is resurfacing in the area.
Trisha Brooks, from Milan, Illinois, received a call Tuesday, September 18, while she was at work. The caller knew her Social Security number and demanded $1,800. The caller said she wrote a bad check and was going to be served papers if she didn't pay.
"They told me I owed money from eight years ago," Brooks said. " They said I needed to be in court and they were going to serve me papers for fraud and theft of services."
The call came from Chicago, Illinois and when the scammer said her Social Security number, Brooks was convinced it was a legitimate call.
"My mind was just spinning," Brooks said. "I thought I was in big trouble, so I asked them if I could just pay it." That is when the scammers told her the dollar amount and Brooks saw the red flags. She knew that was off and told the scammers she needed a bill to be mailed to her, then she hung up. After the call, Brooks searched the numbers online and found nine pages of people who received calls just like her.
The Quad Cities Better Business Bureau said that just because a caller knows your Social Security number, does not mean it is legitimate.
"If somebody calls you and wants money over the phone and you don't know who they are, don't give them any money, " Better Business Bureau Director Sandra Bowden said. "I don't care how they threaten you, I don't care what they say to you, don't do it."
The Better Business Bureau says that all legitimate businesses must provide billing and documents by mail and in writing. You can track popular scams in your area on the BBB Scam Tracker.