Vermont Phone Number Lookup

What are Vermont Phone Scams?

Vermont phone scams are crooked practices of fraudsters intended to steal money and private information from Vermont residents perpetrated over the phone. These fraudsters use several devious schemes to get residents to divulge sensitive information, such as live calls or robocalls, and may utilize caller ID spoofing to mask their identities. Phone lookup applications can help uncover the true identities of scam callers.

The Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) of the Vermont Attorney General's Office publishes a list of commonly reported scams every year in the state. CAP advises residents to sign up for scam alerts from the Attorney General's Office and provides several tell-tale signs for Vermonters to identify and avoid phone scams. The government of Vermont is making efforts at providing eligible Vermonters who lost money to scams after sending funds through Western Union before January 2017 with some form of restitution. Claims may be filed online via the Attorney General Office's website.

Common phone scams in Vermont include:

  • IRS Debt Collection Scam: where the scammer calls and says the target owes back taxes or outstanding payment. Any payment made by the target goes directly to the caller and not the IRS
  • Computer Tech Support Scam: where callers claim to work for reputable tech companies and persuade the target to give remote access to their PC in order to fix a virus problem. The access is used in stealing information off the computers.
  • Phishing Scam: where the caller poses as a representative of a trustworthy business, such as the target's bank, and attempts to collect personal and sensitive information, which is later used to steal the target's identity
  • Debt Collection Scam: where the caller claims the target owes debts and threatens lawsuit or arrest or disconnect utilities if payment is not made immediately.
  • Unclaimed Funds Scam: where the caller claims the target is eligible for a government grant, unclaimed rebate, funds, or settlement. In exchange for unclaimed funds, the target is required to pay a processing fee. Such processing fees are unwittingly made to the scammer's account
  • Prize and Sweepstake Scam: where the caller claims the target has won a prize or money but needs to make a payment to receive it
  • Medicare or Medicaid Scam: where the caller claims to be an authorized provider of medical supplies and services and seeks to obtain the target's personal information before in exchange for medical services.
  • Grandparent Scam: where the caller claims to be a grandchild of the target but is in distress and needs money to be sent immediately.

What are Vermont IRS Scams?

In an IRS scam, a fraudster calls a Vermont taxpayer and claims to be an official of the Internal Revenue Service. The fraudster demands the victim to pay bogus tax bills in back taxes or outstanding payments due to the government. These con artists may have some of the taxpayer's information, including their address, the last four digits of their Social Security number, or other personal details – making the phone appear legitimate. During the impersonation, the scammer may threaten the taxpayer with jail time, deportation, or revocation of a driver's license. Individuals who are recent immigrants are often the most vulnerable to this type of phone scam. Payment is typically requested through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.

What are Vermont Tech Support Scams?

Computer tech scams are the third most reported phone scams in Vermont. The scam uses fake pop-up ads purporting to be from a trustworthy tech company, such as Microsoft or Apple, to lure Vermonters to send money for virus protection or other tech support. Tech support scammers make convincing claims that there is a serious issue with your computer or a virus problem which puts your computer and the data on it at huge risk. The fake pop-up ads may appear intermittently or completely hijack your browser, stopping you from using the computer until the supposed problem is fixed. These ads usually contain the number to call which turns out to be the scammer's number.

Tech support scam gimmicks include the scammer pressuring you into buying unnecessary computer repair services, service plans, anti-virus protection, or other related products. In some cases, victims pay for these products or services and never receive them. In other cases, the scammer asks for remote access to run some diagnostic services which is later used by the fraudster to install malware on computers and steal sensitive information.

What are Vermont Grandparent Scams?

Grandparent scams are usually targeted at grandparents with an intention to exploit their unwavering generosity and care for their loved ones. These scams are often successful because the scammers know the psychology behind how difficult it is to think through problems when emotions are high. The scenarios are usually designed by grandparent scammers to be emotional and high pressure.

Scammers, posing as grandchildren, call and pretend to be in jail, hospital, or stranded overseas in urgent need of wire transfers, gift cards, or cash. Sometimes, these fraudsters operate in twos, with the other party posing as a bail bondsman or arresting officer, all in a bid to get the grandparent to believe the story and act quickly. It is common in grandparent scams for fraudsters to plead with their targets to keep the situation secret from other family members.

What are Vermont Debt Collection Scams?

Debt collection scams begin with calls from scammers posing as debt collectors attempting to collect non-existent debts. These scammers who may claim to be officials of the Vermont Electric Cooperative, the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority, or any other reputable entity, make a variety of threats, such as disconnection of utility, arrest, lawsuit, or wage garnishment if payment or credit card information is not given immediately.

What are Vermont Unclaimed Funds Scams?

Unclaimed funds scams generally involve government grants, rebates, or settlements. The caller claims the target is eligible for a government grant, an unclaimed rebate or settlement, or other kinds of unclaimed funds. However, the scammer requires the target to pay a processing fee before the funds can be accessed. Once the funds are transferred, the scammer disappears with the money.

What are Vermont Prize and Sweepstake Scams?

In a prize or sweepstake scams, the scammers claim the targets will obtain funds if an upfront fee, in the form of tax or registration is paid. It starts with a call claiming that the targets have won a prize, or money but need to make a payment in order to receive it. In many instances, fake checks are used to entice the victim and claim to cover part of the fees. The check bounces and no winnings are dispersed.

What are Vermont Medicare Scams?

In this type of phone scam, the caller poses as a staff of Medicare or Medicaid and claims to be an authorized provider of medical supplies, prescriptions, or other medical-related services. The caller tries to sell you supplies or services at discounted prices in exchange for obtaining your personal information. Medicare scams are also rampant during open enrollment seasons with many fraudsters posing as Medicare staff and asking for Medical care numbers or Social Security Numbers from Vermonters. They claim personal information are required to issue new cards or to verify medical information in order to keep coverages active.

How Do I Avoid Becoming a Victim of a Phone Scam?

  • Avoid answering calls from unknown numbers. If a call is so urgent, the caller will leave a message in your voicemail.
  • Hang up on robocalls. If you answer a call and hear a prerecorded message, hang up immediately.
  • Do not trust the name or number on your caller ID display. Phone spoofing technology allows callers to falsify the name or number appearing on your phone's display. Hence, callers may not always be who they claim to be.
  • Always resist the urge to act immediately. No matter how dramatic a story sounds, always take time to reflect deeply and verify the caller's identity before taking any action.
  • Carry out your own research. If you doubt the legitimacy of a caller's identity, research the name or number online. Use reverse phone lookup tools to verify the authenticity of caller IDs. Many times, phone numbers registered to scammers have been reported online in connection to scams.
  • Sign up to receive free phone scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Report scammers to FTC or any local law enforcement agency.
  • Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry.