There is a new version of a scam just about anytime you answer the telephone. Most recently a senior citizen in Eagle Point responded to a scam and actually received money (cash) in the mail. The victim was told to go to the bank, and send it back in a money-gram to a specified address. The bank immediately called Eagle Point Police. The scam artist, who was a foreigner (probably Nigerian according to EPPD) actually left his phone number. Detective Gray of EPPD called the number and worked the person over verbally rather well. The funds the resident received now reside at EPPD for a period of time after which the funds will be turned over to the victim.
This scam must operate on the basis of building trust in the individual contacted. After all, if they actually did send you a bit more money than you originally sent them, perhaps they would contact the person again and ask for a larger amount of money, which undoubtedly would not be sent back to the victim.
Again and again, the police and banks warn if you don’t know the calling party don’t recognize the voice or if you have caller ID and don’t recognize the phone number, hang up. Often senior citizens feel it is rude or impolite to hang up on someone. That goes against their years of training. And that is what scam artists prey on. It is not rude to hang up on this type call. By all means do not give them any information, even answering to a verification of name and address may be all they need. If they can get you feeling a bit comfortable in conversation, they often can get just about any information they need and in today’s world in takes very little for them to learn a great deal about you.
The answer to scam artists is no answer. Give them the silent treatment.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent