RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Avoiding and preventing scams was the focus at a roundtable Thursday at Passage Home in Raleigh. The event was put on by New America Media and The Federal Trade commission.
FTC officials, representatives from the NC Attorney General office, local law enforcement, and community advocates came together to discuss the rising number of scammers and what people can do to protect themselves. The roundtable is a part of a nationwide series of Ethnic Media News Briefings.
Organizers say these briefings aim to inform people who are more likely to be targeted by these scams such as immigrants and lower income families.
Every year, scammers target consumers across the nation. According to the FTC, there were over 65,000 fraud complaints in 2016 in North Carolina alone. The number one complaint was debt collectors. This is a rising scam with people claiming to be debt collectors and telling you that if you don't pay right now, you will be arrested.
"No one can arrest you for owing a debt and consumers need to understand that the police are not going to come get you, you're not going to be locked up," said Southeast Regional FTC Director Cindy Liebes.
There is no way to shut down these scammers altogether, but Liebes advises consumers who get scam calls to "hang up the phone. Don't listen to them and definitely do not pay them money."
For more information, visit www.consumer.ftc.gov.
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