WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - When we hear the phone ring, regardless of who it is, most of us will answer it quickly.
However, the Wichita Falls Police Department's Financial Crime Unit says there is one thing we need to remember when answering unknown calls.
"You don't have to answer it," said. Sgt. Donald Miller with the unit. "Don't rush in to just picking up the phone and answering because its an automatic reaction. Take the time and realize if you want to answer it."
This advice comes after WFPD noticed an increase in phone scams.
"Locally the calls come in months before a report is even made because people don't realize they have been victimized until much later," said Sgt. Miller.
"When we get the cases we start doing research. It may be a theft, it may be a fraudulent use of information or something like that."
Along with the Wichita Falls Police Department, the Better Business Bureau says numerous scam tracker reports are coming into the office.
One woman told the BBB, scammers keep harassing her weekly. The scammer threatens jail time for not reporting correctly and not having enough information when she filed her income tax.
In another BBB scam tracker report, a woman said she was contacted by someone who identified themselves as a detective. The scammer insisted she owed money and transferred her to another person.
She eventually ended up paying about a thousand dollars. When realizing this was a scam she contacted her bank and was able to get her money back.
"Anyone can be scammed," said Sgt. Miller. "You can fall victim to it, but mostly the elderly or the ones with diminished mental capacity or the young that may not have life experiences seem to be more prone or have the propensity to be victimized."
That is why the police department encourages those who have fallen victim or may have been a target to inform others.
"Spread awareness that's the only way that we can slow this down," said Sgt. Miller.
The Wichita Falls Police Department has a financial crimes tab on its website with more on Scams and Identity Theft.
If you believe you have been a victim of a scam file a police report by calling (940) 761-7792.
Any questions regarding a scam should be emailed to the financial crimes unit at firstname.lastname@example.org