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Don’t get scammed

Posted: July 3, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 3, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Correction: The following letter to the editor is being repeated because the wrong name of the writer was printed at the bottom of the letter when it was originally published on Wednesday. Albert Bigelow did not write this letter. The correct letter writer’s name appears today.

I consider myself to be an intelligent person, generally, and I’ve read the AARP tips for avoiding scams. But recently I panicked and did something foolish.

I was sitting at the car wash waiting for my car when I got a text message, “Call the Wells Fargo help desk at this number. Your attention is requested. Acct. issue.”

I immediately thought, “Oh, no. Fraudulent charges have been made on my account (which has happened before) and/or my account is overdrawn.”

When I dialed the number, an automated voice began asking me to enter my card number, the expiration date, my Social Security number and my ZIP code.

I did all this in a stressed, worried state, expecting to then get a live representative.

No. The automated voice said, “Your account has been verified.”

As I was driving home, I started feeling that something was not right about this call.

I called the 800 number for Wells Fargo. The representative checked the number I called and said it wasn’t an authorized number.

She canceled my card and advised me to change my pin number when I get my new card. She said Wells Fargo would never ask me for my complete Social Security number.

I realized I’d made a potentially dangerous mistake. Since I often bank online, the rep closed that, too, and I’ll create a new user name and password.

I’m also freezing my three credit reports so that no one can try to get credit using my information.

I’m trying not to be too hard on myself about this — what’s done is done.

I’m shocked and saddened there are many immoral people who victimize innocent people for their own financial gain.

A stranger has my Social Security number.

Don’t panic. Be certain to whom you’re giving your personal info and don’t give out your Social Security number.



CaptGene: Posted: July 3, 2014 10:33 a.m.

How ironic.

Bonita: Posted: July 6, 2014 6:20 p.m.

Twice now (on a weekend) when I called Chase to balance my check book, I was told that I had won a trip and hold on for details. All I needed to do was pay for something with my credit card. I hung up and re-dialed only to receive a different offer. I did call the bank but no one seemed to be worried. I also called AT&T who did not respond. So, if you get this good news, remember it is a scam!

tech: Posted: July 16, 2014 8:12 p.m.

I received a text (SMS) message today from a reported 360.529.9145 stating "Your VISA card has been temporarily SUSP ENDED (sic). Please call VISA Card Services line (310) 601-7722"

I called from an TOR enabled browser using a generated Gmail VOIP account. It's phishing* voice response software designed to capture keyed in account info. Ignore these texts. If you have a concern or have responded to the message by calling the number listed, call your financial institution directly at the number on the back of your debit/credit card.

* phishing |ˈfiSHiNG| noun
the activity of defrauding an online account holder of financial information by posing as a legitimate company.

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