Always be on the lookout for scammers

Scammers make the news quite often. But they should because they’re out there trying to catch people off guard and hoping they do so they can capture them for their fraudulent schemes.

One of the most recent scams occurred earlier this week when a phone caller pretending to be from a well-known financial institution called a number of people saying “some fraudulent activity” had been found on their account in regard to a $4,000 transaction. The phone caller said if the person getting the call did not authorize the transaction to “press 1.” This was to take them to the financial institution’s fraud specialist.

In this case, the phone number of the caller was listed as the financial institution’s number. Besides the local area, people with accounts in other areas of the state or even out of state might have also been contacted by the same type of call.

Hopefully, no one followed the caller’s directions to “press 1.” Likely, if anyone did “press 1” it would have shown someone on the other end that the call had been answered.

Another case occurred this week when a local person received an email with a bill due for $399.99 supposedly from a computer security software company. The company’s name is always in the email address, a company spokesperson said, but this one wasn’t and the phone number listed did not match the company. The company confirmed it was a scam.

Scammers are ruthless. They do not give up. They might not make phone calls but send emails using an email address that appears to be from a legitimate company.

The North Dakota Attorney General’s office provides on its website some simple precautions to help prevent scam artists from being successful including:

1. Scam artists pretend to be people we want to trust.

2. Don’t trust your Caller ID. It might not be who you think it is.

3. If you are asked to send or wire money, or to buy prepaid cash cards, stop!

4. Hang up, every time.

For more information go to the website at attorneygeneral.nd.gov, then to Consumer Resources.

Everyone has to be careful and diligent in being on the lookout for scammers.


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