Saturday, February 18, 2017

Thrifty Thinking: New Phone Scam

The way the scam works is that a fraudster calls pretending to be from a home security agency, cruise line, or social security firm and they will use phrases like "Are you the lady of the house?"; "Do you pay the household telephone bills?"; or "Are you the homeowner?" Once they get that recorded answer, they will go through the sales pitch and explain that the unsuspecting victim has already agreed to pay for the product or service.  Scammers will play back a person's verbal confirmation and threaten to take legal action if they try to deny the charges.  Many scammers are targeting the elderly, who are more vulnerable.

Adam Levin, Chairman and Founder of CyberScout and author of "Swiped" says "consumers should be on high alert for this scam, especially the elderly and vulnerable communities.  Once the scammer has your recorded yes on file they can combine it with with credit card data or personally identifiable information they may already have to to authorize fraudulent charges. If you receive this type of call, hang up.  Check your accounts for any suspicious charges and sign up for transactional monitoring from your bank. Use a free service that blocks robocalls.  Research the organization and look for negative reviews on BBB and report the scam to the FTC.  Never give out personal or financial information over the phone and never authenticate yourself to an unsolicited caller."

Adam K. Levin is a consumer advocate with more than 30 years of experience and is a nationally recognized expert on security, privacy, identity theft, fraud, and personal finance. A former Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Mr. Levin is Chairman and founder of CyberScout (formerly IDT911) and co-founder of  Adam Levin is the author of Amazon Best Selling Book "Swiped", now out in paperback.

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