From Magic City Morning Star

BBB warns of phone solicitations targeting children
By Paula Fleming Better Business Bureau
Aug 29, 2014 - 12:15:03 AM

Marlborough, MA - With children and young adolescents owning cell phones, receiving calls from scammers is definitely a risk. In this day and age, it's very important to be aware of the types of calls or texts children might receive. Better Business Bureau is warning parents and guardians of cell phone solicitations now targeting children.

In a recent instance that was reported to Better Business Bureau, a parent had intercepted a phone call on her daughter's phone. The call was supposedly from the Johnson & Fuller Law Firm. It was a message from an employee, who informed her that she had not responded to two letters regarding a debt. Therefore, she was being arrested for two acts of criminal negligence and needed to call the number back immediately.

She did, and she talked to the employee and informed him that he had left the message on a minor's phone. To this, he asked her what number he had called. She asked him, "Why do I need to give this to you?" He explained to her so that he can remove her daughter's number from the calling list. Then, he abruptly said, "Nevermind. I'm keeping her number on the list," and hung up.

Needless to say, this probably isn't the first or the last time a scam call was received on a minor's phone.

BBB offers the following tips for phone solicitations:

Be Aware. It's important to make sure that your children are aware of scams that are out there. At the very least, have them treat phone calls as they would treat someone coming to the door. If the phone number and/or person is unfamiliar to them, they should avoid the call/text altogether and bring it to a parent or caregiver's attention.

Join the Do Not Call List. Be sure to register with the National Do Not Call Registry at Telemarketers have 31 days from the date you register your phone number(s) to stop calling you. Placing your phone number on the list will not stop all unsolicited phone calls, but it will halt the majority of them.

Don't Give Out Personal Information. Never give out or confirm personal information with someone you don't know. Ask the caller for their information, such as name, business, and address and request any documents or notices in writing.

Report the Call. Contact your Better Business Bureau at, the FTC at, and your state Attorney General's office with information about suspicious calls.

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For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2013, consumers turned to BBB 131 million times for Business Reviews on more than 6.5 million businesses, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 113 local, independent BBBs across the United States, Mexico and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.

Paula Fleming is VP of Communications & Marketing for Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT. Find Paula on Google+.

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