There is a new phone scam that is going around that a lot of trusting people are falling for, so be aware. The scammer calls indicating that he is from a company that provides warranties for equipment (computer or other electronics) and that the company is going out of business. The scammer also indicates that you had purchased a warranty and that they want to provide you with a refund, and the refund can only be made to your checking/savings account.
In order to make you comfortable and make you believe that this is a legitimate transaction, they won’t ask for your account number, however, they ask for permission to log into your computer and watch as you access your bank account. The interesting part of this scam is that they don’t steal the money at this time. Instead, if you have multiple accounts, they transfer money from one account to the other.
Then they call you back indicating that they deposited too much money in the account and they need you to send the difference back. The scanner plays on the person’s sympathy and indicates that he will lose his job if we don’t get the money back. However, the only way that they can get the money back is via gift cards and ask you to go to the nearest Walmart to purchase the cards.
Here are many reasons why this is a scam:
- When has a company that is going out of business wanted to give money back? It takes many lawsuits before you can see some money back.
- If a refund is coming your way, a legitimate company will send a check, this way the company will have a record of the transaction
- The fact that the scammer said that he will lose his job if he didn’t get the money back – if the company is going out of business, he is already losing his job!
- They deposited too much money into your account
- And the Cup de Grâce is that they want the refund via a gift card – this has scam written all over!!
Don’t fall for this or any other scams; if the call is to good to be true, there is a reason for that.
As a general rule:
- Never, ever, ever give your personal or account information to a person that called you
- If you want to confirm the call, call the company back using the number published on their website on any other document; never call back to the number that the person (scammer) provided you over the phone
- If you provided or believe that you provide some information to the scammer before you can realize it, close your bank accounts – yes, this may be a bit inconvenient; but it will be nothing compared to what you will need to go through if the scammer starts to use your information/identity.