Scam Alert: Landline Feature Exploited
Jackie here. If you have a landline telephone, be on the lookout for this recent scam. It’s similar to a phishing scam, but much scarier since victims have every reason to think they are actually talking to their credit card company. Keep reading for the details.
This scam starts with a call from the “local police”. It isn’t law enforcement, rather scammers masquerading as police. The call is always made to a home phone (not a cell phone). The scammer explains that your credit card information was found in a recent bust. They encourage you to contact your credit card company and report the information.
What would you do if this scenario occurred? I know I would immediately pick up the phone and call my credit card company. Surprisingly this is exactly what the scammer wants you to do. They wait for you to hang up, pick up the phone again and call your credit card company.
Landlines work a bit differently than cell phones. If the person that initiated the call doesn’t hang up, the call remains connected, even if the recipient of the call hangs up. So, although you think you’re calling your credit card company, you’re still on the phone with the scammers. They then pretend to be representatives of your credit card company. As they verify your credit card number, security code, and other details, they get all the information they need to make you a victim of id theft.
How Can I Avoid this Scam?
This scam is scary, but it can easily be avoided as long as you recognize it. Before making any calls on your landline telephone listen carefully for the dial tone. If you get a call from your local police and believe it might be a scam, contact them and find out. If you get a call like this, you may want to use a different phone to call the police or your credit card company.
Watch out for this scam and remember it only works if the scammers call your landline phone. Learn more here.