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GIFT CARD SCAM CALLS USED TO LURE PEOPLE AWAY FROM HOME TO COMMIT THEFT

7/21/2011

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Here is a scenario relayed by the Spokane Police Department this morning to BBB that BBB wants others to be aware of:

A senior citizen called police to report a residential burglary yesterday. A female called the victim, claiming to be from Safeway, offering the victim a $100.00 gift card as a result of a current promotion. The suspect asked the victim to come to the store and claim her card.

When the victim contacted the store’s customer service desk, she was advised no such promotion was going on. The victim returned home to find that in the short time she had been gone; her home had been broken into.

Currently, police do not have any suspects or witnesses.

While more a case of burglary, there was an element of fraudulent activity that lured the victim from her home so burglars could rob her: a call posing as a familiar entity to many, Safeway.

BBB ADVICE

It almost goes without saying, if you are victim of such a situation, report the burglary ASAP to your local police so they can begin an investigation ASAP.

Watch calls you get with random pitches like this. If someone calls stating you’ve “won” or been “gifted” or “prized” with a card or anything of value, think twice, and act smart. Especially if they use the name of an official entity, make certain that you go “off the call” and not take what they are saying as truth, and contact the official entity (in this case, Safeway) and ask them whether they were the ones truly calling or not (before believing, agreeing to, or accepting the offer or winning.)

SPOKANE POLICE REPORT

http://www.spokanepolice.org/news/default.aspx?ID=1460

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