Muskegon woman harassed by fraudulent, vulgar phone calls

By Rebecca Russell

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WXMI) -- 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?”

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