Two separate residents involved in neighborhood block watches have notified Independence police they were possibly targeted in a potential scam.

Two separate residents involved in neighborhood block watches have notified Independence police they were possibly targeted in a potential scam.

The scam starts with a phone call. When the unsuspecting person answers, a voicemail system gives you instructions on how to talk to a sales representative on lowering your credit card payment, according to Independence Police Crime Prevention Officer Rob Romey, who heads the neighborhood watch programs in the city. Block watch residents notify him of possible criminal activity in the area, as was in this case, and Romey sends a mass e-mail alert to residents.

If the person follows the instructions and get to a live person, that person will try to get the resident’s credit card information, according to Romey. And if you hang up, they know your number and will continue to harass you.

Currently, Romey hasn’t heard of anyone giving their credit card number out and therefore getting scammed.

But one resident did receive the automated message, followed the prompts and reached a real person. The person has received additional calls as a result, Romey said.

“It’s hard to say if this is a scam, as of now we have had no reported ‘victims,” Romey said in an e-mail. “This is more of a beware-type notice.”

Romey said anytime you receive a phone call from someone and it starts with a voicemail, it’s more than likely a solicitation.

The only exceptions would be an automated appointment reminder from a doctor’s office or a pick-up notice from a pharmacy.

“If someone does not think you are important enough to put a real person on the other end of the phone, they are not worth your time,” Romey said. “Just hang up.”

Never, under any circumstances, give out your credit card information over the phone.

It is often difficult to track or arrest someone who’s behind the phone calls. The suspects could be in another city, state or country, Romey said.