I personally received a call this week from a phone scammer! These thieves were out to steal my credit card numbers by stating they were my credit card provider company, and for security purposes needed me to verify my credit card number. They had my name, phone number (obviously), expiration date, and the last 4 digits of my credit card. What they did not have were the other 12 digits of my card(s). For verification and security purposed they asked me to provide the full credit card number. Thankfully, a red flag immediately went up in my mind, and I stated. “If you are my provider credit card company, then for verification and security purposes YOU PROVIDE my credit card numbers!”
My Kroll private investigator reminded me, “Never provide your card number or any other personally identifiable information over the phone unless you are the one who made the call.” He also made a note on my account and assured me that they were on top of monitoring my identity.
If you receive one of these calls, or get an automated call/voice or text message, remember the following advice:
1. Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers often have the capability to mask their call information, which is known as spoofing.
2. Don’t share your personally identifiable information (PII). If you are already doing business with the company represented, they should already have all of your information.
3. Don’t react too quickly. It’s very important to remain calm, even if you think you are about to lose a service or if you think a punitive action is about to be taken.
4. DO NOT press one or wait on the line for a live person – these scam operations do not acknowledge the Do Not Call list and your response may lead to more scam calls.
5. DO NOT call back the number provided or click on any website hyperlinks. Instead, independently verify that the message was sent by a legitimate source by visiting the company website, calling customer service directly, or some other form of contact, as long as it is initiated by you.
6. Your service provider may be able to block the incoming telephone number, but keep in mind there are limitations to this service – scammers frequently use multiple numbers, and there are many telephone scams running at any given time.
Overall, Kroll’s advice is simple: “If you find yourself in any of these situations, DO NOT release any personally identifiable information; hang up.”
To learn more about how to protect yourself and your family from identity theft, visit my LegalShield and IDShield website.