Harassing scammers seek to take advantage of consumers

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Several people have called in to Newschannel 3, claiming they're being threatened to fork over hundreds of dollars.

One viewer was able to record the voice of the scammer, claiming he needed $150 through mail order in order for him to receive a $2,500 loan.

The harassing messages began as soon as he realized something was wrong.

Newschannel 3 spoke to the man to help him share his cautionary tale.

It's important to note first that the man did not give up any information.

He hopes his story will warn many others, because once you give away money, you'll never get it back.

For the past several days, Albert Perry didn't know what to make of an over-the-phone offer.

"They say $2,500, they was gonna loan me $2,500, and I had to pay $150 a month," he said. "But it was $150 I had to put up to get that loan."

When he said he didn't want any part of it, those harassing calls began.

They threatened to take a nearly $400 'cancellation fee' from his account.

"Obviously this is a scam," said Detective Sgt. Jim Martens with Battle Creek Police, but he adds that they have no ability to make arrest or perform any enforcement outside the country.

Martens says if you get worried after a similar call, you should contact police, then protect your identity--especially your social security number.

"You can go to the social security office and flag it--I would go to the three major credit companies and flag it through them, and they can monitor your credit, I would go to all my known credit card companies and flag them; let them know you need to see my ID before I can purchase anything," Martens said.

In addition, if you don't recognize a number on your phone, simply don't pick up.