Phone Scams – Identity Theft And Other Fraud.
For almost as long as the telephone has been around it has been used by fraudsters to scam the unwary in various ways.
In today’s data based society, criminals make use of the phone to
fraudulently obtain information that enables them to steal your
identity or defraud you in some way.
Often, but by no means always, these phoney calls involve credit card fraud.
identity thieves may have no information about you at all, or they may
know all the items of information they need but one.
For example they
may know all of your credit card details but not have your security code
Hello We Are Your Bank.
Many scams involve the fraudsters calling you pretending to be
your bank. Their line of patter will be well rehearsed, and sound very
convincing for the unwary.
The caller may say that he is with the
bank’s security department and give you his badge number.
He will tell
you he is concerned about a transaction that has appeared for your
credit card and give you your genuine card number.
He will then
ask something like ” Have you used the card to make a purchase of
$176.30 for a ‘blue widget’ from XYZ company within the last two days?
you reply that you most certainly have not, he will assure you that his
suspicions have been confirmed and the charge was fraudulent.
caller will tell you not to worry the bogus charge will be taken off
your account before your next statement.
Always being suspicious will greatly help prevent you from becoming a victim.
You may feel a sense of relief and gratitude. You are pleased that
your bank is on the ball and have saved you from a fraudulent charge.
The caller then says that he just needs to confirm that the card is in your possession and will you give him the security code.
He thanks you for your cooperation and says that if you have any further questions at any time you can call him at the bank.
He is a happy identity thief, he now has all the information he
needs. Soon your account will have a real bogus charge against it.
give out any sensitive information over a phone call that you did not
initiate, a bank or other financial institution will not request it. It
is possible that your card provider will phone you to confirm a purchase
was made, but they will not ask for PIN or security numbers.
If you are at all unsure whether a call is from the financial institution/company they claim to be, phone them back. But do not use any number they give you, get the number from the phone book or a statement.
Government Grant Phone Scams.
Who wouldn’t like free money? We all would and if that money came from
the government that would make it even sweeter for many of us.
However the government is not at all likely to telephone you out of
the blue and offer you free cash without any strings attached, no not
likely at all.
Yet every day the unsuspecting are fleeced by phone scams claiming to offer free government grants.
receive a call telling you that you are eligible to receive a grant
from the government for replacement windows (or any one of a hundred
other things.) It just may be that you are thinking of replacing your
windows and have been making inquires. Somehow the scammers have
obtained this information and are making use of it to target you.
Anyone can claim to be anyone, or represent any company, when on the telephone.
You are told that the government has a fund that they use to issue
grants for home improvements.
All you are required to do is pay a small
amount for handling and shipping and you will receive a CD, or
information pamphlet, telling you how to claim your free grant.
will get your card charged for the S+H, you will also likely find your
card charged for ongoing monthly membership, these are frequently quite
What you will not get is your free grant.
grant phone scams take many forms. Often the fraudsters do not know a
thing about you. In this case the reasons they give for the grant are
often ridiculous, some even claiming you are entitled to a grant because
you pay your taxes!
Alongside any money the phone scammers con
out of you for the bogus grant they may also manage to obtain sensitive
personal information from you. They can go on to use this information to
commit other identity theft.
The government is not in the
habit of phoning people offering free money in the form of a grant. If
you get one of these phone calls – it’s a scam. Do not supply any personal information, do not part with any money. Report these phone scams to the FTC.
Phone Scams – You Failed To Report For Jury Duty.
Jury duty scams have been around for some time and see a resurgence every now and then.
You receive a phone call seemingly from a court officer. He tells
you that you failed to attend court for jury duty.
He then tells you
that an arrest warrant has been issued or is being issued.
naturally protest that you have never received notification. The bogus
court officer ask for personal information for verification to help
clear the matter up.
Information such as your social security number,
date of birth, bank account information and even credit card details.
You’ve Won A Lottery (Not)
You’ve won! A big prize too! And you don’t even remember entering the lottery.
you have to do is pay an upfront fee to cover taxes, processing or
whatever. The upfront fee is a tidy piece of change, but it seems small
compared to hefty major cash prize you have won.
If you fall victim to this fraud, you can kiss that upfront fee goodbye and you will never see any major prize.
the fraudsters don’t tell you that you have definitely won, but that
you have been identified as standing a one in five chance. But to stand
any chance of your monster cash lottery winnings . . . you’ve got to pay
$xxx, give them your credit card details etc.
If you don’t remember entering a lottery, sweepstake, prize draw etc. – you didn’t enter it.
buying foreign (cross-border ) lottery tickets by phone or mail is
illegal in the U.S., a violation of Federal law.
phone scams take many variations of the above. Think, is your luck ever
going to be that good that you win a huge amount of cash in a lottery
that you didn’t even enter? It’s a scam, don’t be a victim.
Always being suspicious will greatly help prevent you from becoming a
victim of phone scams and telephone fraud. Always be wary of
unsolicited phone calls. Never divulge personal information, if the
caller asks for it – hang up.
A phone survey? Remember that many
so-called phone surveys are nothing more than phone scams.
Telemarketing? Although some legitimate sales outfits do sell by
unsolicited telephone calls, it could be a swindle.
claim to be anyone, or represent any company, when on the telephone.
Caller ID can be spoofed. Be suspicious, be safe.
Identity Theft Prevention
Identity Theft On The Internet
Identity theft on the internet is a danger, but using your common sense
and taking all necessary precautions when you can greatly reduce the