**PRESS RELEASE FROM THE BBB**
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Liberty Lake Police Department contacted Better Business Bureau alerting of a scam targeting the Spokane region. A Spokane resident received a call from a (509) area code phone number claiming to be a police deputy named 'Wilkerson.' The supposed 'deputy' aggressively told the Spokane man he had an outstanding bill and would be arrested if he didn't pay up. The scammer provided a (972) area code phone number for the man to call back and pay.
The victim chose to call the phone number showing on his caller ID, and to his surprise, he reached the Spokane Sheriff's Regional Training Center, who knew nothing of the call. After receiving a second call from the same phone number, the resident researched to find and contact Officer Taj Wilkerson with the Liberty Lake Police Department who informed the Spokane man there was no investigation into a debt and this was indeed a scam.
Officer Taj Wilkerson followed up with the alleged 'debt collector' and contacted the (972) phone number and reached an operation claiming to be in Dallas, Texas. The contact person provided a bogus address and refused to provide any further details.
Fake debt collection calls are a very serious scam, and victims must remain calm amidst aggressive, threatening tactics often used by scammers.
Better Business Bureau offers a few tips when faced with a fake debt collection call:
Never provide or confirm bank account, credit card, or other personal information over the phone until you have confirmed the legitimacy of the call.
Ask the debt collector to provide official documentation which substantiates the debt.
Know your rights, familiarize yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which describes both the collectors and debtors rights in the process.
Be wary. Local police or any other governing body will NEVER contact you out of the blue about a debt.
If you receive a threatening call claiming to be from a local police department, please report it to your BBB by calling 509-455-4200