Con Artists have been around forever. With modern technology their job just keeps getting easier. We have spoken before on the subject of Elder Scams but you don't have to be a senior or technolocially challenged to be taken advantage of.
Recently a member of the Idaho Estate Planning team found themselves in the middle of a Phishing scam. Phishing is the act of trying to steal information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. This team member is aware of scams and how they work and is typically very careful with their credit card information.
These scam artists had pieces of information that made them sound as if they really did represent the cellular company and were threatening to shut down their cellular service. There was more than one and they worked in teams representing different departments of "the company". As soon as the call was over and my team member realized what had happened they called their bank. The thieves were able to make charges of more than $50.00 before the card was cancelled 5 minutes later. The bank's software noticing charges coming in from many locations around the country had automatically stopped 5 other charges totaling hundreds.
With the holiday season rapidly approaching we typically find an increase in this type of activity and we want to warn all of our friends to please be careful with your financial information. If someone is threatening to shutdown services tell them you will call them back. Look up the correct number for the company and call the customer service department to verify whether your account is actually in trouble.
You should also be aware that a mailed notice should typically precede a legitimate cancellation of services. Please call us if you have any question about Phishing Scams, Elder Scams or any other concerns for you or your parents.