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N4T Investigators: Dirty Debt - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Dirty Debt

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Tucson - Studies show the average American household has $5700 in credit card debt.  With the holidays approaching, plastic will be the preferred payment for many shoppers. 

Scammers know this. 

That's why they're calling people around the country saying they're from a debt consolidation company. They ask for the recipient's social security number and credit card numbers. A 95-year old Tucson woman, who declined an interview, says she received 45 of these scam calls last week...in one hour. 

“I think that's absolutely insane,” Susann Miller of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona told the News 4 Tucson Investigators. Miller says this is the first she's heard of the debt consolidation scam, but she's not surprised.

“It's something that they're basing off a success rate. So if it's working for them, why would they stop?  And it's just going to grow, it's going to snowball,” Miller said.

We called the number that was given to us by the 95-year old woman's son. Not surprisingly, no one answered, because they probably don't take incoming calls or they changed their number. 

Consumer experts say if you get one of these calls, never disclose any personal information and hang up quickly. Try to write down the phone number, but remember, most of them are fake. Block the number if possible, check with your phone provider. And file complaints with the state attorney general, the BBB and the Federal Trade Commission. 

Miller advises, “You just have to make sure that when you're on the phone, and you are definitely staying calm, you're thinking clearly, and do not engage.”

The phone numbers the scammers use that show up on your caller ID don't mean much because scammers are often overseas but use phony phone numbers by spoofing from area codes in the u-s. The bottom line is we can't completely stop these calls, but we can control how we handle them. 
If you have a story you'd like us to check out, email us at investigators at kvoa.com or call our tip line at 520- 955-4444.

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