E-mail scams we know about. We’re all pretty Internet savvy here, right?
What about people who call you? I don’t mean telemarketers…I am firmly listed on the Do Not Call registry….I mean people who call your home phone number on “phishing” expeditions…
Scam # 1-My listed business phone number (last week): A very pleasant and professional speaking woman says “I am calling from your Visa credit card company and because you have excellent credit we are going to reward you with a $500 gas gift card”.
Sounds fabulous right? Go for it, right? Wrong. Three things she said (or didn’t say)were red flags. First of all, which Visa card issuing company? She didn’t say. Secondly, doesn’t $500 sound like a huge amount of money? Like maybe $50 would be more believable, yes? Third, she never called me by my name.
So I say, “what if I don’t have a Visa card?” She was slightly taken aback but says, “well, it may be a debit card that qualifies you…”
I quickly tell her, “I’ve never used a debit card and don’t own one. Please take my phone number off your sucker list and don’t call me ever again”. Then I hung up.
Scam #2-My unlisted phone number (today): A foreign sounding man calls, and says “Evelyn?”. I said “you have the wrong number”. He says nothing but stays on the line. How weird, so I said ‘hello?”. (I mean I’d help him if I could), but there was dead silence so I hung up.
Not even 15 seconds later, dear reader, this jerk calls back but says nothing, so I quickly said, “You still have the wrong number” and he rather coyly said “noooo I don’t.” “I have a certified check for you, but I just need to verify your address as ***********” (he rambled off a few house numbers, but they weren’t mine).
Well, c’mon who does he think I am, an idiot? I mean he didn’t even know my name a few seconds ago, how could he have a check for me? I confess I said “B***S***” and said “get a real job, loser, and don’t call back!”
I didn’t know whether to be amused or ticked off…but I don’t like this and it frightens me. I’ve never had a potential scammer call me until last week and then this guy today was so blatant and stupid and obviously calling to defraud me..
I watch Judge Judy and a few other court shows daily. This kind of fraud happens often with young people because they aren’t savvy to scams and are too immature to really reason it out. …….but
I wanted to alert everyone that it
can happen to you.
My phone company (Verizon) doesn’t even have a site for alerting customers to new phone scams and suggested that I call the police. I don’t know about the cops but I think the local TV station should be alerted and that’s what I intend to do.
BEWARE, we know how the second scam works but the first one was interesting and I’m sure at some point the woman would’ve asked me to confirm a credit card number. She just wasn’t prepared for me to say I didn’t have a credit or debit card.
Be careful, if an unsolicited call comes in and promises some great monetary gain, if it sounds too good to be true, be suspicious and hang up because it truly is too good to be true.
Don’t just listen to what the callers are saying, but listen to what they AREN’T saying:
Did they know your name? Did they mention your cc issuing company? Did the person say anything that identifies YOU apart from any other person they may have called? Could anything they say have been gleaned just from the phone book or a social networking site?
Times are tough and the scammers know it. Be on your guard even when your private home phone rings with a stranger on the other end. Tell everyone you know- especially older friends and members of your family…
Oh, and don’t EVER deposit and then cash a check from a friend……………. make them cash their own checks.
Copyright, Sue G
November 12, 2009