Zachary Crocket over at The Hustle wrote a very good article about phoney-pressure scams where:
- A person is called out of the blue by a scammer
- Scammer asserts authority and immediately pressures the victim about some emergency
- Claims “bad stuff” will happen unless person stays on the phone
- Scammer pressures person into buying gift cards or transferring money to the scammers’ intermediaries
- Person loses 😦
Read the article, it’s really good: https://thehustle.co/phone-scam-gift-cards/
In the wake of this ordeal, my dad and I have spent hours on the phone with the FTC, the police, and Target’s fraud team. In the process, we gleaned a few tips for avoiding government imposter scams:
- Government agencies will never call you out of the blue to tell you you’re in trouble. They’ll send a letter in the mail.
- Caller ID should not be trusted — even when a phone number appears to be official or recognizable.
- You should always check with the real agency by calling the number(s) listed on their official websites.
- Never pay someone claiming to be a government official with a gift card or wire transfer.