FORT MYERS, Fla.- Payday loans are often a last resort for people hit hard by the economy. Stacey Payne with the Lee County Sheriff's Office says those people often fall victim to scam artists who claim to be debt collectors and threaten arrests.
"It's a scam, all the way around," said Payne, who is warning residents of a new scam in the area that almost worked.
It was basically multiple scams rolled into one. A Lee County man was on the phone with scammers who claimed he owed them money, then he received a call on his cell phone. The caller ID said it was his mother.
"When he picked up the phone it was the scammer, just kinda saying 'I know how to get ahold of the numbers,'" Payne said.
At the same time, the man's mother received a call on her phone. The caller ID said it was her son, but in fact was one of the crooks.
"The scammer said 'your son's been hurt, you need to wire us money so we can get him some help,'" Payne said.
The mother almost fell for it but luckily her son was able to call her. The scammers used a technique called "spoofing" which uses technology to manipulate your phone's caller ID. The unfortunate reality is, you can't always trust your caller ID.