You may think it’s a family member, friend, neighbor or even a coworker that’s calling you. Sometimes, calls can even seem like it’s coming from a reputable government agency and business. But if you receive calls demanding payment for something – verify your information first!
These are some new tactics scammers are using to target you:
- Scammers pretend to be from a government agency.
- They threaten victims with arrest for outstanding warrants or other legal issue.
- They pressure victims to purchase various types of gift cards or instruct them how to purchase bitcoin.
- Once a victim makes the purchase, the scammer instructs them to read the gift card numbers or bitcoin key over the phone.
- Once the scammer is satisfied they received the necessary information, the line is disconnected.
Ways to prevent yourself from being scammed:
- If you are unsure if a call or email is real, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source, such as a phone book or online search. Do not use the contact details provided by the caller or in the message they sent.
- Do not feel pressured by a threatening caller. Hang up and verify their story.
- Never send money, or give bank account, credit card or personal information to anyone you do not know or trust.
- A government agency or trusted business will never ask for payment by unconventional methods, such as gift or store cards, iTunes, cards, wire transfers, or bitcoin.
For more information, see this article from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department: Telephone scam imposters strike again, stealing thousands of dollars from numerous residents: