Scam of the day – October 16, 2012 – New telephone scam

Telephone scams are nothing new.  The grandparent scam, which occurs when a grandparent gets a phone call from a scammer posing as a grandchild and pleading for money because they have gotten into trouble in another country still is an effective scam despite years of warnings.  In addition, there are many scams that also use the telephone as the mode of contacting the intended scam target.  The latest, which has been concentrated to date in Florida, but can be expected to spread throughout the country involves a parent or sibling receiving a telephone call telling him or her that a family member has gotten involved in an automobile accident.  The call purports to be from the person who has been involved in the accident with the target’s family member.   In the version of this scam currently going on in Florida, the caller tells the family member in Spanish or in English with a Spanish accident that his motorcyle was damaged and that he will kill the family member unless money is wired to him.  The area code on most of these calls  is 787 which is Puerto Rico with some of the calls even originating in prison there.  The FBI is presently investigating the matter.

TIPS

Phone scams are dramatically on the rise because they work.  Never send money to anyone who calls you in regard to an emergency pertaining to a friend or a family member until you have actually confirmed that it is accurate.  Contact the friend or family member.  Contact the police or hospitals in the area where the event is alleged to have happened.  What you will find is that it is a scam.  Never wire money in response to a telephone call.  Wiring is the preferred method of payment for scam artists because it is all but impossible to retrieve.  Be skeptical and keep your money.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.