Call for Action: Don’t be a target for scams this hunting season

Sporting goods store offers up advice for sportsmen and businessmen

HIGHLAND, Wis. — Mark Palan has been in the hunting business for nearly three decades at Palan’s Outpost Sporting Goods in Highland. His advice works just as well out in the field as it does behind the counter: be patient.

“Don’t be so quick to act,” he said. “If you have a gut feeling something’s up, check it out.”

He’s learned that as both a sportsman and a businessman, the latest incident lending him some more experience – a scammer tried to take some of his credit card information with a suspicious phone call a few weeks ago.

“They threw me off-guard at first, and I was busy with a customer, so I told them to call me back – which they did,” he said.

After a little run-around, Palan hung up and called his merchant services company, who informed him the call had not come from them – this was a scam.

Palan called the Better Business Bureau, and so did Call for Action, to share some advice to others on how to avoid phone scams like this one.

Here’s what they said Palan did right.

1. He hung up and called the direct line to the company in question.

2. He was suspicious of his caller ID – the number appeared local, but call addresses can be spoofed.

3. The phone call itself was unsolicited – so Palan didn’t trust it.

4. He asked for a physical address – which ended up being an empty storefront out of Texas.

If you find yourself picking up the phone to an unsolicited call that you suspect of being a scam, you can report it at BBB.org/scamtracker. You can also check for scams in your area at that same website.