KUSA - The incidences of unscrupulous people trying to take your money by email and by phone are increasing. Even though we've all been warned not to fall for them, some sound so legitimate that some fall victim to scare tactics.
Michael Kleczka, who lives in Florida, says his 21-year-old son received a phone call from someone pretending to be from a Denver law firm, demanding nearly $1,200.
His son told him he got a call from a man claiming to be Fred Jackson from the Gibson Dunn Law Firm. Kleczka said the caller threatened his son with arrest if he did not pay the money. The caller claimed the son had taken out an online cash advance from a company called 'National EZ Pay.'
His son did not get a cash advance from a company by that name. However, the guy on the other end of the line gave him what sounded like a reasonable explanation.
"They told him that he might be a victim of identity theft, because they said that's going around now," Kleczka explained. "[They said] it doesn't matter because it's your name – so you're going to have to pay this first and get it cleared up later."
Kleczka said "Fred Jackson" told his son the warrants were sitting on his desk. Dad called to try to clear up the matter. But he said they used a tactic that would concern any parent.
"I started questioning further, and then he got a little impatient," Kleczka said. "He said, 'look, I'm just here to help you. So if you don't want to take care of this, I'm just going to turn this over and you can just go visit your son in jail.'"
Kleczka said that's when the man hung up on him.
When he called the main number, the outgoing message said: "Hello you've reached the fraud division. Unfortunately we are not able to answer the phone or it is after hours. If you leave a message, including your name, number and case number, somebody will contact you immediately. Thank you and good luck."
"I've been trying to call them and reach somebody since," Kleczka said. "I did find a law firm in Denver. It's called Gibson and Dunn, legitimately. When I called Gibson and Dunn, they said that I was their fifth call in that two-day period of other people who had called them and asked them why they were being accused of criminal charges."
A spokesperson for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP said the calls are not coming from the Denver firm.
"Unfortunately, this type of phone scam is increasingly common. We are fully aware of the situation and have reported it to the authorities," an emailed statement read.
The spokesperson did not say how many call the firm had received.
Kleczka is just glad his son came to him immediately.
"If [my son] had $1,200, he probably would have sent it right then and there, because they did a pretty good job at deceiving him into believing that he committed some crime," Kleczka adamantly stated.
His story is a good reminder to not to send money to anyone who calls out of the blue and tries to convince you that you owe money – especially when you don't.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)