Scammer Claims to be from Phone Company – Demands Gift Card Payment
On 8/9/2017, a resident reported falling victim to a phone scam in which the caller fraudulently claimed to be from CenturtyTel. The caller, who was NOT actually from CenturyTel, advised the victim that due to trouble they detected with the victim’s modem, they would deposit $200 in the victim’s bank account as compensation for their troubles. The victim gave the scammer his bank account information. The scammer then claimed that he accidentally deposited $4,000 into the victim’s account. He instructed the victim to buy $4,000 in Walmart gift cards and to call him back to provide the numbers. The victim complied. The victims in this incident were elderly.
This scam is a variation of the same type of scam frequently reported. Victims are “overpaid” with fraudulent funds such as fake checks or online transfers. They then are instructed to pay back the difference with gift cards.
As always, residents are reminded that legitimate businesses do not demand payment in gift cards. They do not overpay you and ask you for Walmart or iTunes gift cards. Do not trust anyone who asks you to pay them back with gift cards as the result of overpayment. Look up the legitimate contact information for companies you know you do business with and call them directly to inquire about the legitimacy of such calls you receive.
Please discuss this type of situation with your elderly friends and relatives. Elderly citizens are often the victims who fall prey to this type of scam.