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Scam Alert: Seniors Targeted by Telemarketing Scam Asking for Bank and Identity Information

(Phoenix, Ariz. – September 1, 2004)  They promise to protect you from identity theft, but intend to use the information you give them to actually steal your identity—this is the latest scam for which Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is warning older consumers to be on the lookout.

The calls come from a telemarketer claiming their business protects seniors from being victimized by identity thieves.  The caller asks seniors for critical bank account and identity information.  Sometimes the scammers tell the victim that their accounts have already been compromised by an identity thief.

The caller then claims that they can stop the current theft and prevent future thefts for a simple service fee.  Consumers are then talked into paying hundreds of dollars for this fake service by authorizing a debit to their bank account.  Once the scammers have account information, they can and often do loot the account.

“This scam feeds on a person’s fear that their identity is being stolen,” Goddard said.  “Anyone who has been contacted by these scammers should contact the AG’s office immediately so we can stop put these thieves out of business.”

Seniors from across the United States have been targeted in this scam, and some of these scammers are located here in Phoenix.  The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is currently aggressively pursuing these local scammers and urges anyone who has been a victim or received a suspicious contact to complete an on line complaint form available at www.azag.gov