By Bob Weaver

Every year there are new scams, and new victims, particularly by phone.

Some years ago, phone scamming was halted by federal action with being placed on a "do not call list."

That list has washed out the sewer pipe.

Grantsville resident Steve Allison sent along this "shining star" scam, which deserves reporting, in addition to saying, "Had two calls from Microsoft in two days, but I told them that I don't live in Pakistan anymore and only had Apple computers then hung up."

This scam is very clever. Beware of people bearing gifts.

Wednesday a week ago, I had a phone call from someone who said that he was from some outfit called: "Express Couriers" asking if I was going to be home because there was a package for me, and the caller said that the delivery would arrive at my home in roughly an hour. And sure enough, about an hour later, a uniformed delivery man turned up with a beautiful basket of flowers and wine.

I was very surprised since it did not involve any special occasion or holiday, and I certainly didn't expect anything like it. Intrigued about who would send me such a gift, I inquired as to who the sender is. The deliveryman's reply was, he was only delivering the gift package, but allegedly a card was being sent separately; (the card has never arrived!). There was also a consignment note with the gift.

He then went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol, there was a $3.50 "delivery charge" as proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult, and not just left it on the doorstep where it could be stolen or taken by anyone.

This sounded logical and I offered to pay him cash. He then said that the company required the payment to be by credit or debit card only so that everything is properly accounted for.

My husband, who by this time was standing beside me, pulled his wallet out of his pocket with the credit/debit card, and 'John', the "delivery man", asked my husband to swipe the card on the small mobile card machine which had a small screen and keypad where Frank was also asked to enter the card's PIN and security number. A receipt was printed out and given to us.

To our horrible surprise, between Thursday and the following Monday, $4,000 had been charged/withdrawn from our credit/debit account at various ATM machines.

It appeared that somehow the "mobile credit card machine" which the deliveryman carried now had all the info necessary to create a "dummy" card with all our card details after my husband swiped our card and entered the requested PIN and security number.

Upon finding out about the illegal transactions on our card, we immediately notified the bank which issued us the card, and our credit/debit account was closed.

We also personally went to the police, where it was confirmed that it is definitely a scam because several households had been similarly hit.

WARNING: Be wary of accepting any "surprise gift or package", which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package. Also, never accept anything if you do not personally know or there is no proper identification of who the sender is.

Above all, the only time you should give out any personal credit/debit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction.



By Bob Weaver 2018

Scamming has become more sophisticated.

In more recent time local phone numbers have been hijacked to get people to answer their phones, then the pitch begins.

Rick Poling, Director of the CCCOA, says the latest scam is targeting Social Security beneficiaries that advocates for older adults should be aware of.

The Federal Trade Commission is warning that scammers are engaging in a caller ID trick called "spoofing" to make it appear that they are calling from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

These callers claim to work for SSA and ask for personal information—such as the individual's Social Security Number—supposedly in order to process a benefit increase.

These callers have also tried to get this information by claiming that the person's benefits will be cut off if the personal information isn't provided. Read the FTC's warning to learn more, including where to report such calls, and what people should do if they get one of these calls. An old scam that involves people offering to blacktop a driveway or seal a person's blacktop.

Officials say the scammers charged an elderly couple four thousand dollars, applied fake sealant, and finished the job in around 20 minutes.

The latest scamming when the caller asks, "Can you hear me now?" If the called party says "yes," that is used as a signal to record the word and misuse it as the consumer agreeing to pay for a product or service they did not want.

Some residents are receiving calls from "IRS" indicating the party owes money and if payment is made now, they will not be prosecuted.

A Calhoun family reported they received a call from a person who said they represented DISH network and wanted a credit or debit card to sent $50 to correct problems with their satellite service.

The Calhoun party hung up but they were redialed continuing with the same pervasive script.

They didn't bite.

A Grantsville woman reported a frequent scam, this time used on her, related to her use of a computer.

"I have been getting all kinds of calls about my computer, starting the day I was setting it up."

"First it was to sell me an extended warranty on the computer, 'for the rest of my life' for $499."

"Next it was an extended warranty for Windows."

"Now it is to fix one problem or another that they are receiving an error message for."

The woman says she checked with Acer, the computer she purchased, and Windows, and both said they had no part of the scam.

Calls came from all parts of the country, sometimes between 10-11 p.m.

Hacking of one form or other is prevalent to Internet users, including the Hur Herald. The fixes have been expensive.

Some Herald stories have been eliminated and others have links inserted into the stories to web sites selling products or services.

Of course, the scammer always announces they are not selling anything, or wildly announcing the customer has won something.

See BEWARE OF NEVER-ENDING SCAMS - Calhoun Family Scammed Of $5,400

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