Family warns about phone calls using intense scare tactics to try to steal money

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- There is a new twist on an old scam that could cheat you out of money. And a Centennial family is sending a warning after they received a set of disturbing calls.

Megan Lathen said she heard the voicemail Monday morning. She was immediately concerned. The caller claimed to be from the firm TPS and was looking for Kevin Maxwell, her dad.

“I need to set up delivery of legal documents. Apparently there was refusal to sign for these on your behalf. To avoid further legal issues, you have to call the firm and pay for the services,” the female caller on the voicemail said.

Lathen then learned her sister got the same message. That was when she became really worried.

“I got a hold of mom, and I was like, ‘Did anyone show up at your door this morning you know? Because someone said you refused to sign papers,'” Lathen said.

Her mom said no one tried serving her or her father papers. Lathen took her suspicions to Google. She said she found the phone number TPS left on the voicemail and found it was linked to several complaints claiming it's all a scam.

She texted her mom right away who was already on the phone with a man claiming to be part of the firm. That man put her on hold. Lathen's mother read her daughter's warning and hung up.

“This family did the right thing. They didn’t provide any of their personal information. They didn’t provide money,” said Susan Medina with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

She said the CBI hears about similar scams all too often. It comes in all different shades.

In the case of Lathen and her family, the caller had the last four digits of the father's Social Security number, both daughters’ numbers, and even provided them with a case number. However,  Medina warns even in the most  intimidating of circumstances, people should stay skeptical.

“Scammers will do anything they can to steal your last dime,” she said.

Medina said anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation should contact the Federal Trade Commission, which is what Lathen and her family already did.

Medina also said if a caller has sensitive information like a Social Security number, it’s a good idea to increase surveillance over bank and credit card accounts. ​

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