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Mason City police report another attempted phone scam is circulating

This news story was published on April 2, 2019.
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MASON CITY – Mason City police are reporting yet another attempted phone scam is circulating at this time.

The following is a statement from the Mason city police department

The Mason City Police Department frequently sends out press releases about scam phone calls and emails. Monday, a Mason City business got a phone call with the correct Alliant Utility Company phone # spoofed on the caller ID. The phone # that the recording or scamster left for the business said to call the highlighted # below. I called this # back. There was none of the typical pre-recorded into music and messages that most legit businesses have on their phone systems.  After a few seconds of wait time, I was connected with someone who claimed to “Richard” with Alliant. When I asked the first question about where his office was at. “Richard” hung up on me. Richard also had a very thick accent. Obviously this is a scam call. Today’s is a little different from most in that the business incoming phone # was spoofed. Spoofing is spreading as online technology makes it easier for criminals to dupe unsuspecting people.

Again, the Mason City Police Department wants to remind everyone to avoid giving out personal or payment info over the phone to unsolicited callers or emails, especially if there is pressure or urgency attached (30 minute timeline or threat of imprisonment, etc). Contact your local affiliated representative, or look up the business’ customer service phone # and call yourself to inquire if legit, or check your account online.  Once you give a stranger your personal info or payment over the phone, wire transfer, or by email, it is basically too late to stop the transaction. Most financial institutions will not cover your loss.

April 1, 2019 phone call summary received by MC business office:

Caller ID at our office shows up as the correct Alliant Energy phone # (1-800-255-4268).  The recorded prompt stated that Alliant had us on a disconnect notice and action needed to be taken to avoid an interruption in utility services to our location.  The recorded prompt stated that a representative from our utility company had received an order to disconnect services in 30 minutes and to call 1-800-340-9801 to make payment arrangements on our delinquent account.  I did not call the “fake” phone number back.  I had heard about recent scams so I called Alliant Energy directly to report the attempted scam.  Alliant encouraged me to report the details of the call to local PD.

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3 Responses to Mason City police report another attempted phone scam is circulating

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 3, 2019 at 3:58 am

    I got them calls too, wish I could have understood what the Arab was saying. sounded like a hell of a deal

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 3, 2019 at 3:57 am

    I get 2 or 3 a day. in fact Saturday I got 0 percent interest on credit cards and got a free room at the Marriott hotel. cant beat that

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 2, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    We get two or three shadow calls a week. We just hang up.