Many scammers operate by telephone. Here are two patterns that we have noticed recently.
One scam works like this: Someone calls you, announces their name, and says he or she is from the Security and Fraud Department at, for example, VISA or Mastercard. (Of course, the name is false, and they aren’t really from any credit card service.)
The caller sounds very official, and gives you a “badge number” and states that your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern and is calling to verify the purchase. The caller asks if you purchased something — for example, an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona.
When you say ‘No’, the caller then states they will be issuing a credit to
your account, and they may provide other official-sounding but misleading information. The caller will tell you that before your next statement, the credit will be sent to your address; they will read out your address and ask if the address is correct. The caller may also say that a Fraud Investigation will be started. They’ll tell you that if you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card and ask for Security and refer to a six digit Control Number. The caller then says, “I need to verify you are in possession of your card” and asks for the three digit number on the back. Do not give that number out to anyone who calls and asks for it. When you provide the three digit number, the scammer will use that information to make purchases on your card.
What the Scammer wants is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don’t give it to them.
If you give the Scammer your 3 Digit PIN Number, when you
get your statement you’ll see charges for purchases you didn’t make, and by then it’s almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.
Other scammers use social media, the internet and newspapers to target potential senior victims. Here’s another potential scam: You could receive a all from a person claiming to be a family member or a close friend telling you about an urgent situation that requires money, right away. Common themes have been that the family member was arrested or got into an accident while travelling abroad. They need money for hospital expenses, lawyer fees or bail. You would usually be instructed to send money via a money service business like Western Union or MoneyGram.
Here are some ways to protect yourself:
· Confirm with other relatives the whereabouts of the family member or friend.
· Be aware that Police, Judges or other legal entities will never request that money be sent through a money service business
· Never give out family member’s names or other personal information to unknown callers.
· Always question urgent requests for money, even if the request is apparently from someoine you know.
You worked hard for your money — Why let scammers fool you into giving it to them?