Beware of phone scams
In the past week we've received information regarding fraudulent activity in the area. Recently, phone scammers have been calling local residents claiming a variety of identities attempting to get personally identifiable information or money.
Some of these scenarios are as follows:
- Claiming the resident has won a prize
- Claiming to be FBI and using scare tactics to convince people to give them personal information (such as threatening arrest)
- Click here to view more from the FTC
In some cases where the scammer was able to obtain the personal ID, they then call the phone company posing as relatives and use the ID information to change the phone number and address listed on the account. Then they are able to setup credit accounts with the information and the victims are unaware of the change.
We encourage all people to be very vigilant about these phone calls or email messages. You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be careful about responding to ANY request for personal identifying information.
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
- If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company's or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request.
- Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
- If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.
- And as always, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is not true
We encourage everyone to share this information with family members and neighbors. Unfortunately, these scams are targeting the older residents of the area who may not have access to this article or other online help. If you suspect there has been fraudulent activity on your account, please call our office 1-800-427-8449 immediately.