BONIFAY - The Bonifay Police Department reports a recent rash of phone scams, what makes them different this time is that the scammers are using local numbers.
According to the Bonifay Police Department, over the past few days, several reports have been filed with the Bonifay Police Department concerning a phone scam being received from local phone numbers.
These kinds of calls generally begin with recorded messages that include statements like: “There are no problems currently with your account, however it is urgent that you contact us concerning your eligibility for lowering your interest rates to as little as 6 point 9 per cent.”
The automated message invariably does not include the name of the company, but may claim to be with Card Services or Card Holder Services.
After the initial recorded message, consumers must dial another number to be connected to a live person.
The live “operator” usually starts the sales pitch by asking for the consumer’s credit card number and whether the consumer is interested in lowering their interest rates.
The ‘negotiation’ undertaken by these companies can be as simple as calling the customer service number listed on the back of the consumer’s credit card and asking a customer service representative to lower the interest rate.
“The public needs to know that thieves choose numbers they want to appear on Caller ID,” said Police Chief Chris Wells. “Technology available for purchase on the Internet allows crooks to use a fake caller ID to make bogus phone calls look like they are coming from a legitimate and trustworthy source to gain access to a victim's valuable personal information. They can seem legitimate because the telephone number of the local person or entity shows up on the caller ID. Most of the time, they are originating from overseas in places like Nigeria.”
Bonifay Police Department urges to never give personal information to someone who calls.
“Con artists will lie, cheat, steal, and make up plausible stories to convince you to divulge sensitive information,” said Wells. “The callers are often professional criminals who are skillfully able to get personal information before the victim has time to properly assess the situation. Contact your bank and the Credit Bureau immediately if you fall victim to this or any similar scam.”