RI authorities warn about phone scam

Providence, R.I. – The Rhode Island attorney general's office is warning consumers about a scam in which the con artist identifies himself as a law enforcement officer.

Scam artists have been calling Rhode Islanders saying they're law enforcement officers attempting to collect a debt. In some cases the debt is an Internet payday loan that was either repaid or never taken out.

When questioned the person refuses to disclose the name of the collection agency he purportedly represents. He often has the victim's identifying information including a social security number, email address and the names of relatives.

If the scam is unsuccessful he has been known to call back weeks or months later to try again.

Attorney General Patrick Lynch says legitimate law enforcement officers are not used to collect debts. He advises people to hang up on the scam artists and to call the consumer protection unit of his office.