BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — According to the Bakersfield Police Department, there has been an increase in the number of phone scam reports.
They offer the following tips to protect yourself:
• The United States government and law enforcement will never ask for any form of payment, including gift cards or Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, to avoid an arrest.
• Do not assume that the phone number shown on your telephone screen during an incoming phone call is the true phone number that is calling. If there is any doubt, hang up, look up the phone number for the agency calling you and call them back.
• Always be suspicious of phone calls from unknown individuals or phone numbers that you do not recognize.
• Do not conduct business over the phone with callers you do not know.
• Never share personal or financial information over the phone with someone you do not know, e.g., social security number, debit/credit/pre‐paid card numbers, etc.
• If anyone contacts you and asks you to pay or send them money using Bitcoin, wire transfer or pre‐paid cards of any sort, this is a scam.
• If anyone calls asking for payment due to your involvement in a criminal case, hang up the phone and call your local police department.
Report online, business or phone scams to the Federal Trade Commission immediately at www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov.