Holiday scams, part 1
Thieves are very inventive during the Christmas Holiday Season. Here are some scams going around as of December 2013.
REMEMBER WHAT YOUR PARENTS TAUGHT YOU: If it SOUNDS too good to be true it is a SCAM.
For instance: You did not win the lottery in Spain, The Netherlands, Canada or anywhere else. You didn't buy a ticket did you? A poor widow or bank manager does not need your help to move money from a dead person's account to another place. The IRS is not electronically auditing you. The Jury Clerk never calls for your Social Security number. Bank and Credit Card companies do not email you to verify your information. Scam artists use the information obtained above to steal your identity.
Examples of Current SCAMS:
- You decide to buy a car and the dealer says they cannot accept your bank draft/check to pay for the car. They say that although your account might be okay, your bank has a history of bouncing checks and they blame the banking system. They are saying this to get you to buy a car on credit at high interest rates..........walk away.
- The Hotel Receptionist Call: You would normally arrive at your hotel/motel and check in at the front desk. You give the front desk your credit card for incidental room charges during your stay. When you get to your room you settle in. The SCAM is when someone calls the front desk and asks for (example) Room 620 - which happens to be your room. When the phone rings in your room you answer it and the person on the other end says 'This is the front desk. We came across a problem with your credit card information when you checked into the hotel/motel. Would you please provide me with your credit card number and verify the last 3 digits numbers on the reverse side of your card.' Thinking this is the front desk, you might give the caller your information. But actually, this is a scam where someone calls from outside the hotel/motel and asks for a random room number. They then ask you for your credit card and home address information. You provide the requested information because it sounds so professional and you think you are talking to the front desk. If this happens to you, please tell the caller that you will be right down to the front desk to clear up any problems. When you get to the front desk ask if there was a problem. If there was none, advise the hotel manager that someone called to Scam you out of your credit card information by acting as a front desk employee. ANYONE traveling should be aware of this SCAM!
- JURY DUTY: Someone calls pretending to be a court official who says a warrant has been issued for your arrest because you didn't show up for jury duty. Sometimes they even ask you for a credit card number so they can process the cancellation. If you give out any information ...your identity has just been stolen!
- PHONE OFFERS: If it sounds too good to be true......it is a scam. Don't fall for the alleged relative/friend who has just had his wallet stolen in Europe and is contacting you for money to get back to the US. Anyone can set up a phony email account to contact you and pretend to be a friend or relative IN NEED.
- CHECKS: Never put your complete credit card account number on your check when paying a bill. You are better off using your work address and work number on your checks.
REPORT POTENTIAL ID THEFT to: Equifax 1-800 525 6285; fraud alert 888 766 0008; Experian (formerly TRW) 1-888 397 3742 to place fraud alert; Trans Union 1-800 680 7289 for Fraud alert: Social Security Administration (fraud line) 1-800 269 0271
And Remember: DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE IN THE CV THIS MONTH, CALL A TAXI.........IT IS A LOT CHEAPER THAN HIRING ME!
Dale Gribow has been "Rated" TOP LAWYER by Palm Springs Life Magazine from 2011-2019 and has a Superb Avvo Peer Reviewed Legal Rating. Dale Gribow has been Man of the Year 7 times including the City of Palm Desert and the City of Hope and Dale Gribow Day has been declared 4 times. He is the only attorney appointed in December 2013 to the Coachella Valley Association of Government's Public Safety Ad Hoc Blue Ribbon Committee. This group consists of the police chiefs from every city and the mayor of each city as well as the Sheriff of Riverside County and the head of the CHP and Border Patrol. If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow Attorney at Law at his NEW number 760 565 0533.