One retired Metter couple was bombarded with scam calls last week.
Asking that her name be withheld, the caller told Metter Advertiser, “We’ve been hit heavily this week with scammers.”
In a matter of days, the couple had calls from both Amazon and Social Security, with repeated efforts to get sensitive information from the couple.
One call, the lady reported, claimed to be from Amazon about a $143 charge that needed clarification. The problem is, the caller said, that she has never had an account with Amazon and has never provided them with her information.
“They told me about the $143 charge on my account and gave me a number to call back ‘to correct the charge,’” she said.
“I knew it was a scam because I do not have an account, but other people may not realize that,” she cautioned.
The caller ID on the ‘Amazon’ call had the couple’s own phone number, which, she said, was another trigger that something was wrong.
On Thursday, the couple received a call from ‘the Social Security Office.’ Surprisingly, the call came from a 685 number.
“I know we do not have a Social Security office in Metter,” she said, “so I felt right away that it was a scam.” Her feelings were confirmed, she said, when she realized it was a robo-call.
However, they received another call from the ‘Social Security Office’ a few days later.
“I just don’t want people to get caught up,” the caller reported.
How do you know if a call is a scam?
It may be hard to immediately identify an unprompted caller’s intentions.
However, the Federal Trade Commission has found these common denominators and phrases you should look out for when identifying a scam call:
• You’ve been specially selected (for this offer).
• You’ll get a free bonus if you buy our product.
• You’ve won one of five valuable prizes.
• This investment is low risk and provides a higher return than you can get anywhere else.
• You have to make up your mind right away.
• We’ll just put the shipping and handling charges on your credit card.