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Wood County officials report phony debt calls at local businesses


WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAU) -- Wood County Sheriff's officials are warning residents about a number of scam calls that have been reported.

A local business reported that a man identifying himself as "Officer Alfred Reed with State Investigations" called them about a debt that was owed, and told them to call a 215 area code number. Sheriff's Lieutenant Quentin Ellis says the callers are using important sounding names and departments to try and shake down victims. "They will use a title, legal sounding jargon at times. They'll misrepresent who they are or who they're associated with. And sometimes they can get outright nasty and threatening in an attempt to coerce the person into being victimized in the scam."

Ellis says the scammers will attempt to get you to pay with cash cards or get your personally identifying information. "Reputable banking institutions, sheriff's departments, people with legitimate business that are calling you will never ask for your social security number or that type of information over the phone."

If you're being harassed by scammers or fraudulent debt collectors, contact your local authorities or report it online at www.IC3.gov.