Investigation Phone Call Scam: How It Works
(with video below) This fraudulent activity is targeted at those who shop at any kind of store – for groceries, electronics, etc. – and pay with a credit card. Are you one of them? Of course you are. The problem is, you may soon become a victim of this latest scam. How does it work?
Watch the video below to see the Police Investigation Scam exposed:
Here is how it works:
Scammers call local stores falsely identifying themselves as police officers conducting a fraud investigation. They use Caller ID spoofing to make the store’s phone display show the name of the local Police.
After presenting a valid scenario to the employees and feeling they got their trust, criminals ask for the names and phone numbers of the customers that made large purchases over the last few hours.
Let’s assume you are one of them, as you just bought something worth of $400 at a Walmart nearby.
Once customer information is obtained from the shop, the scammers proceed to call you and the rest of the customers. Except now they identify themselves as the shop you just went to – and use the Caller ID spoofing again, making your phone show Walmart!
“Excuse me, my name is Patricia James, from Walmart here in town. You just purchased something at our store, is that correct?” Obviously, since you confirm, ‘Patricia’ informs you that the order did not go through (the transaction) due to the credit card system going down, so the store needs your credit card number again to manually process the transaction.
As you can imagine, once you give the credit card over the phone it will be maxed out in no time.
How to avoid:
If you get such a phone call, do not give personal information, whether you are a store clerk or an actual customer. If you are not entirely convinced the transaction didn’t go through, tell the caller to give you a few minutes, hang up, and call the actual store by looking up their real phone number.
If you are a store owner, instruct your staff not to give credit card numbers over the phone. Police officers investigate cases by going to the actual store in person.
How to report:
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the link below:
How to protect yourself more:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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