Scammer tries to collect on ad placed in newspaper

Published 12:01 am Thursday, March 20, 2008

NATCHEZ — An unknown caller pretending to be a representative of The Natchez Democrat tried to call a contracting company Wednesday to collect payment for a recent advertisement they placed.

The classified ad was advertising open positions at B&D Contracting and the number listed was for potential applicants, not actually the home office.

The caller was reportedly aggressive and rude in trying to get the company’s credit card information and refused to state their name or give a callback number.

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Sue Hicks, classified sales manager for The Natchez Democrat, was alerted by the contracting company of the incident.

“I double checked everything, (the ad) was prepaid,” Hicks said. “There was no reason for them to be called from anyone here.”

Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins said this is a typical scam.

“Anytime somebody wants personal information over the telephone it’s usually phony and bogus,” Mullins said.

He advised that personal information should never be given over the phone or through e-mail.

If someone makes that request, before giving out any personal information, the person should ask for some type of literature proving legitimacy, Mullins said.

But usually, it’s not.

“Any legitimate financial institution is not going to ask for your information over the phone or e-mail,” Mullins said.