Just when you thought it was safe to answer your phone.
Several years back Congress passed the "No Call" law that allows citizens to place their phone numbers on a no call list so that phone solicitors could not call them. Well, the scam artist have figured out a way to get around that.
With modern electronics and tele communication (most of which I do not understand) they can do all kinds of dirty tricks that avoids getting caught. These are not legitimate businesses that still might do calling and simply mess up and call you. No, these are real illegal criminals whose aim is to cheat you out of your money.
Here are some current scams going on:
You get a call (either on land line or cell) informing you that the government will send you $7,000 because you are a "loyal" citizen! They say that they have checked your criminal, credit and work records so just send a money order for $250 to some P.O. box in Washington DC and they will send you your check.
Sounds crooked to most people but folks fall for this otherwise they would not be spending money to scam you. I know that most of you would not fall for this or the next one but even reasonably intelligent persons do. They prey on the poor and poorly educated and the elderly.
The next one ties into those signs that pop up offering to get you lower interest on your credit cards, also a scam. Here is how this one works:
You get a robotic call from "Card Services" telling you right up front that there is nothing wrong with your credit cards but want to tell you how you can reduce your payments and lower the interest rates, just press 1.
Then a real live person comes on and quickly tells you that they can save you money so get your cards out and give them information. By the way how much do you owe and how much interest do you pay?
Then comes the real reason for the call, please give me your account number and the pin number on the back of the card. While you are doing this they tell you how you can cut your interest and thus save you money.
It is likely just some numbers pulled out of the hat but hey everyone believes that the banks are overcharging them so this is a good idea. Obviously you will never get what they say but then they have stolen your credit cards just like a pick pocket.
Again, I know all of this sound nuts and crooked and how could anyone fall for this? Again, they do by the droves. It is a big law enforcement problem. The scamers go from one cheat to the next, they are quite inventive.
You can't trace their phone so the best thing to do is hit Star 60 and call block these numbers. Don't expect it to stop because these crooks use multiple phones from around the country and then they use sophisticated equipment that only law enforcement has.
The point to all of this, I found out about the first scheme from a low income person who at least called me but he was already to hock some items to get the $250! Its really a shame but if you know persons who fit the scam profile please tell them not to listen to any of these to good to be true pitches.
Thanks for reading,
Thomas D. Bevirt