Phone scam has lasting affect for Concord single mom
Jeni Ryan, from Concord, fell victim to scammers. Three years ago the single mom took out a high-interest payday loan online to pay for unexpected car repairs. That's when, she said, her problems began.
She paid off the loan immediately, but said she thinks the loan company sold her information to scammers. She started receiving daily phone calls. First, she said, the phone calls were just soliciting other payday loans, but then said the phone calls became more threatening in nature.
"They call my work," Ryan said. "They threaten to have me arrested." She said the phone calls have interrupted meetings on several occasions. The callers say she owes money and must pay.
Ryan said her work is understanding and feels bad for her but she worries they will get fed up with the constant phone calls and interruptions. "If that were to come down to it, I would be screwed I guess. You know because I take care of her (her daughter) financially by myself."
At one point, Ryan, paid a scammer more than $100 out of fear, after the person on the other end said he was a lawyer. She now pays $95 a month for credit monitoring services.
Assistant Attorney General, James Boffetti, said unfortunately Jeni Ryan's experience isn't unusual. "This guy was a smart educated individual and he lost seventy thousand dollars in the scam." Boffetti said, these scammers are skilled and because many calls originate from outside the United States, it is incredibly difficult to prosecute.
Boffetti said last year they received a few hundred complaints, but said the real number is much larger because, he said, people who get scammed usually are embarrassed.
Merrimack County Sheriff, Scott Hilliard, warns Granite Staters that scammers are now able to manipulate Caller ID to appear to come from a legitimate business, like the sheriff's office, and the voice on the other end said you must pay immediately or you will go to jail.
"They try and do it in short order," Hilliard said. "They try and say you've got an hour and if not two deputies will be at your door."
Sheriff Hilliard said they will never ask for money over the phone and they will never say you will be arrested if you don't pay. He said, if you are unsure, ask to call them back. Scammers will usually hang up at that point.
If you think you have been a victim of a scam, contact your local law enforcement.