Phishing scam takes a legal twist
BBB warns consumers to protect themselves
AUSTIN, Texas - August 25, 2011 — Better Business Bureau once again warns Texas residents against giving out personal information to unknown callers. Scammers have recently been using the name of local law firms to trick victims into giving out bank information, credit card numbers and other private information.
Victims report receiving calls from individuals using a fake name and an untraceable phone number, who say they work with a local law firm.
The callers, who usually have a heavy accent, claim the firm is suing the victim on behalf of a payday loan provider. The caller goes on to say the victim defaulted on a loan and demands payment and other personal information. Victims may not remember taking out such a loan, but some cases have been linked to security breaches at financial institutions.
There are other variations of this scam. Callers pretend to be law enforcement or government officials collecting on a range of outstanding debts, from loans to traffic tickets. Should the potential victim refuse to pay, the scammers threaten anything from a lawsuit to arrest.
Hundreds of people around the country have reported falling victim to these types of scams. In order to protect your personal information, BBB offers the following tips:
· Demand proof. The caller should identify who they are and, upon request, provide you with a telephone number where you can speak to someone directly about the call. The caller should also have proof you incurred the debt.
· Avoid providing personal information. Do not provide or confirm any bank account, social security number, credit card or other personal information over the phone until you have confirmed the legitimacy of the call.
· Report all suspicious behavior. File a complaint with BBB or the Texas Attorney General’s Office if the caller is abusive or uses threats.To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.
About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.
Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.
Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748.