Muskegon woman harassed by fraudulent, vulgar phone calls

MUSKEGON, Mich.-- A woman in Muskegon says she's being bombarded with fraudulent phone calls that have taken a vulgar turn. They started on Thursday and come almost every hour on the hour.

Tia Rider says she's received 18 calls from different numbers with the same area code since noon on Thursday. Not only are they annoying, but Rider says it’s scary, since they know her name, and says they know where she lives.

Answering calls from a 202 area code has become routine for Rider in the past two days. Usually no one is on the other end.

“I received 12 calls yesterday and I did get an answer yesterday and they said they were from the government grant department from Washington D.C. and they said that they were going to pay me 9,000 dollars," said Rider.

It was during this conversation after the sixth call that Rider was called a vulgar term.

“I asked him, 'How are you going to pay me 9,000 dollars if you don’t have my address?' he says, 'Yes ma’am I do have your address'. I said, 'What’s my name? You don’t even know my name'. He said, 'Your first name is p**** and your last name is licker' and he hung up on me.”

Rider got six more calls after that, each one from a different number.

“It’s all a 202 area code, but a different number and I block it every time they’ve called, but it’s the same 202 area code, different numbers behind it," said Rider.

She’s already received six calls on Friday. Rider says she’s scared, because of what the caller claims to know about her.

"It makes me nervous," said Rider. "It makes me nervous too that he says he knew my address. I just moved to Muskegon, I don’t give my address.”

The Federal Trade Commission says the government will never contact you by phone or email. They will never demand personal information over the phone and will never ask you to send money them money by wire transfer or prepaid debit card.

Rider tried calling her phone company to block all calls from a 202 area code, which they said they couldn’t do. She doesn’t want to change her phone number, but Rider says if the calls continue, she’s going to call the police.

"I’m not sure what to do," said Rider. “It is scary because if they know my address and know my name, who knows?”

The F.T.C. also says if you get calls like this to hang up, don’t give them any information. Learn more about how to report calls like this on their website.

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8 comments

  • ok

    look at me ,,i’m on the news .. BFD do what most people do , don’t answer the phone when you see a number you don’t recognize . troll for airtime …

  • Michael

    This is her own stupidity. There’s no reason to get into a pissing match with a scammer then pretend to be scared about it and call the news.

    I get these calls 3-4 times a day. If I don’t recognize the number I send it to voicemail. Who does she think is calling her from
    Washington DC that she needs to pick up the phone for?

    Apple NEEDS a feature on their phones to send all calls from numbers not saved in your phone directly to voicemail. That would solve this for many people. You can use the “Do Not Disturb” feature and allow calls from people in your contacts but that’s not the same as that also blocks texts. Why Apple doesn’t implement that feature should be the news article.

  • Sabrit Hadid (@Sabrithadid)

    I use “Robo Killer” for all my unrecognized calls, I don’t answer them, Period! When I don’t answer, and they are NOT in my contact list, Robo Killer asks if I want to block, of course I do, THEN when they call again, Robo Killer gets to play with them, Even made a ‘special’ answering message for them…. from the “psychiatric hotline”! LOL!

  • Julie

    Quit answering the phone!!! If it’s not a phone number in your contact list, let if go to voice mail. If you acknowledge the call, they know it’s a live person and a target; they’ve figured out she’ll answer the call so they keep calling. She needs to quit feeding the trolls. Now if you really want to have some fun when “Bob” from India calls to lower your interest rate; get to a human being, wait for the spiel, and ask them if they want you give them your credit card info to lower the interest rate. They’ll get really excited and ask you to give them the card info. Say “hang on a minute, I’ll be right back… ” set the phone down and wander away to do other things. See how long you can get them to wait for that card info and have nothing to show for that call.

  • Royce

    Tia, these callers are Hindu scammers out of India. I have been dealing with them for years. They prey on people, especially the elderly, who aren’t aware of their existence. Never be afraid of them, they only have the power of their phone, they reside in India.
    Best advice, don’t answer phone numbers you don’t recognize but if you do then listen for the hindu accent, it’s always there and let them know you’re onto them. They hate being called out. Good luck and educate yourself on Youtube. Type in scambaiting and you will find out these scammers are pathetic.