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These top 3 phone scams are claiming countless victims in Metro Detroit

Posted at 5:47 PM, Nov 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-07 17:47:51-05

For many Metro Detroiters, it began with a ring but ended in heartbreak. 

We’ve tracked countless victims in our area falling for malicious phone scams, often preying on your fear. 

We met Kelly Hamlin back in April after she forked over a thousand dollars in gift cards to someone she thought was an IRS agent. 

With 127 complaints in the last three years, the BBB says IRS imposters are the top phone scam. 

"Take a second, listen to who it is and recognize immediately that the IRS is never gonna call you. They’re not gonna ask for (gift) cards," said Melanie Duquesnel of the Better Business Bureau serving Metro Detroit. 

Then there’s the one that preys on your hope of winning cash. The scammer sends you a hefty check, then asks you to send money back in taxes. 

Once you send the money, you realize the check you cashed has bounced and is bogus. 

Don’t expect to win any money if you’ve never entered a contest. With 120 complaints in the last three years, the BBB says the lottery or prize phone scam takes the second spot. 

And rounding out the top three, with 85 complaints, is the warranty scheme, such as when a scammer calls you with an offer to put a warranty on your newly purchased car. 

"Trying to say hey the transmission is gonna fail or the breaks are gonna fail, and this is gonna cover it," said Duquesnel. 

Don’t take the bait, she adds, a cheap deal is a sign that it’s a fake deal. 

And if you’ve been scammed, 7 Action News wants to hear from you. You can send an email to and report it to the BBB immediately, at