KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knoxville Police issued a warning Thursday after the department said it received reports of scammers calling and posing as EMS.
The scammers will ask about loved ones and say their loved ones are injured and request money, according to KPD.
"As with all scams, verify the validity of the call. If you receive one of these calls, DO NOT give them money and please report the call at 865-215-7268," the police department wrote in a post.
Matt Owens said he got this scam call on Wednesday.
"It was a gentleman who claimed to be a University of Tennessee emergency department paramedic and he explained that he was on the scene of an accident," Owens said. "And said that he had received my number as an emergency contact from one of the folks on the scene."
Owens said the caller then asked if he had a family member who had left the house recently, and asked for the name of the family member.
Something didn't seem right to Owens, who used to work for UT Medical Center and was a paramedic for years.
"Just didn't make sense why he would be on the scene in that capacity," Owens said.
He asked the caller for more information, but the caller said he couldn't reveal any for security reasons. They ended the call.
Owens called his sons to make sure they were ok. Then he called the Knox County Sheriff's Department and UT Medical Center.
The hospital said in a statement, "At the Medical Center, if we call someone, we'll never ask for their personal information or for that of their family member. We would advise everyone to never divulge personal information over the phone."
The Better Business Bureau gives a list of tips on how to not fall prey to scams, including to verify the call--like Owens did when he called his sons.
Owens wants to make sure other people don't fall for it.
"Even though it was fraudulent sounding, it caught my attention. And obviously it kind of makes your heart beat a little fast and it makes you take pause," Owens said. "I can imagine if that had been somebody who was not familiar with that industry or that process, what that would make them feel like."
Owens said the caller said his name was Michael Smith, and when he tried to call the number back, the mailbox was full. He said the number has an 865 area code.