Using Caller ID spoofing technology and a look alike website, scammers are posing as Verizon Wireless and conning victims into sharing personal information.
How the Scam Works:
You receive a call that appears to come from "Technical Support" and claims to be Verizon Wireless. It is a recorded message saying you are eligible to receive a voucher for your account. You need to visit a website to claim it. The web address given contains "Verizon" and the value of the voucher. One recent version of the scam used "verizon54.com," but watch for variations.
You go to the website, and it looks official. It has the Verizon Wireless colors, graphics and navigation (see screen shot below). The site prompts you to "Verify My Account" by entering your cellphone number, Verizon ID and password and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Enter your info, and you won't receive a voucher. You will, however, open yourself up to the risk of identity theft.
How to Spot This Phishing Scam:
- Watch for look alike URLs. Be wary of sites that have Verizon as a subdomain of another URL (i.e. "verizon.scamwebsite.com" or part of a longer URL (i.e. "verizonvoucher105.com").
- Consider how the business normally reaches you. Beware of a departure from the normal routine. Verizon Wireless typically sends its customers text messages, so be wary of a phone call.
- Contact the business: When in doubt, call the business's customer support line to check the legitimacy of the offer. Be sure to find the phone number on your bill or by a web search -- not the website the scammers gave you.
- Don't believe what you see. The website that scammers created for this con looks amazingly similar to the real Verizon Wireless site. But ripping off logos, colors and graphics online is easy for scammers. Just because it looks real, does not mean it is.
For More Information
For Verizon's security and fraud alerts, check out their website. To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.
Note: Verizon Wireless is a BBB Accredited Business and National Partner.