If you have a smart phone, perhaps you are like us; you’re getting an array of phone calls from all over the United States and North America from Telemarketing con artists. They are creative, coming up with new tricks every day to scam unsuspecting Transylvania residents. The callers prey on anyone who answers a phone, but especially seniors and others who have responded to phony sweepstakes or other scams before.
We will continue to spend the next few weeks on examples of scams we know have been successful for fraudulent telemarketers give you an idea of the tricks they play.
3. PAYMENT PROCESSOR OR “MONEY MULE” SCAM
You are invited to earn money by providing international payment processing services. If you sign up, you will start to receive cash, checks and wire transfers from across the United States. Your job will be to forward the funds overseas immediately via wire transfers, after deducting a 10% commission for yourself. In reality, the money you receive comes from elderly fraud victims and you will be wiring it to the scammers who defrauded those victims. In many cases this scam, which makes the victim an accessory to fraud, is targeted at individuals who have themselves lost a lot of money to these same overseas scammers.
4. “GRANDMA/GRANDPA, IT’S ME!”
A young caller begins their conversation, “Grandma (or Grandpa), it’s me! Don’t you know who this is?” If you volunteer the name of a grandchild, the caller adopts that name and then pretends to need assistance. The caller begs “please don’t tell my parents” because they say they’ve been arrested, hospitalized, had a car wreck or gotten in trouble. The fake grandchild then sends a friend to your home to pick up cash or a check or asks you to wire them money. Losses can range from $200 to $20,000. If you wire money, another scammer may call pretending to be a jailer or attorney, requesting more money for bail or fines. Recent victims of this scam have stated that the callers knew detailed information about their grandchildren or other family members, information possibly shared by family members on websites such as Facebook. This scam is frequently used against seniors.
The North Carolina Department of Justice can help; call toll free at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM
Source: NC Department of Justice