There's a new scam in town. The latest Mesa County phone scam has a little twist. This time the scammers are setting their sights on Western Colorado retail establishments.

I don't know about you, but nine out of ten calls on my office line are robo-calls. Ultimately, I have only myself to blame since I haven't taken proper steps to block them. But, with all the funky calls you get nowadays, it's not hard to understand how a phone scam might get past you.

Please make welcome the latest phone scam to hit Western Colorado. According to the Grand Junction Police Departments official Facebook page, several Mesa County businesses have reported phone calls from subjects claiming to be U.S. Marshals, with the Social Security Administration, or part of some federal government agency.

What is the modus operandi? The scammers claim they are with an agency investigating your place of business. What's unique about this one? Well, according to the GJPD, these scammers are quite convincing. They may possess detailed information about your boss or CEO. They might even possess "official" sounding info. In other words, they've done their homework.

There are several red flags you can watch for. According to the GJPD, these are a few things to watch for:

Scam Warning #1: "Don't tell anyone about this." If you hear those words.... worry. This should immediately prompt suspicion.

Scam Warning #2: They’re going to keep you on the phone. Any conversation that prevents you from being able to consult with someone else or take a minute to think is dangerous.

Scam Warning #3: You are asked to purchase gift cards. No legitimate government or law enforcement agency is going to ask you to provide them with gift cards for any reason.

A good buddy of mine is a bigwig with the Internal Revenue Service. We discuss these phone scams all the time. According to him, a government agency will never call you when it comes to discrepancies or improper matters within your company. They don't do that. They send things in the mail, or worse yet, send authorized personnel to your front door. They never call.

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Looking back on my radio career, when the FCC decides to grace us with their presence, that's exactly what they do... they drop in. They don't call and talk to the part-time night jock or the cleaning lady. They show up, badges in hand, and want to talk to the Big Cheese.

Spread the word. These calls are most definitely a scam. If you're a Mesa County business owner or manager, make sure your crew is up to speed with this latest hoax. These crooks can sound convincing, so be prepared.

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