Did you know that according to First Orion, 50% of all phone calls placed in 2019 will be spam? Unfortunately, 2019 has now arrived, and so has a new barrage of robocalls. With technology and the internet making international phone calls a breeze, nearly anyone can now call you from almost anywhere. And with the advent of neighborhood-spoofing, a criminal can dial you up from Africa and make your Caller ID show a local number.
The new year has only just begun, and we’ve already seen plenty of US residents fall victim to criminal phone schemes. Here are two of the latest reported scams:
January 2019 Scams Two Manchester, Iowa residents recently lost money to two different phone scams, according to Manchester Police. In the first case, a scammer pretended to be from the Drug Enforcement Administration in Dallas, Texas. He warned that the victim’s bank account had been used by criminals in Texas for illegal drug-related activities, and instructed the victim to “secure” the account by transferring funds to Google Play cards. He asked the victim for the card numbers and PIN numbers, essentially giving the criminal instant access to the victim’s savings.
Although the victim lost about $4,000 to the scammer, a concerned clerk questioned the victim while loading money onto the cards, and helped identify the scam before the victim could lose another $1,000.
Unfortunately, the second Manchester victim was not made aware of her mistake until it was too late. She lost $2,000 to a “friend” who persuaded her to purchase Ebay gift cards and give him the access numbers in order to supposedly bail him out of jail. The scammer even put an “attorney” on the phone to make the ruse more convincing.
Protect yourself from 2019 scams! Remember, you should never transfer funds or use gift cards to send money to someone who calls you on the phone. This is almost always a sure sign of a scam. Protect yourself by downloading Call Control’s free app, and purchase Call Control Home to keep scammers from reaching you and your loved ones on your landline.