FRAUD TACTICS- Moving from the Internet to the Phone
According to an article in the New York Times, “Swindlers Use Telephones, With Internet Tactics”, http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/01/20/technology/swindlers-use-telephones-with-internets-tactics.html?_r=0&referrer=, internet fraudsters are turning to the telephone to try to gather your personal information.
Over the past few years, local and national law enforcement agencies have been conducting an education campaign to warn citizens about clicking on links in emails that come from internet fraudsters. Many people now are more cautious when looking at emails from people or companies that they don’t know. But many people are not as aware of the pitfalls of giving personal information to strangers who call them on the phone.
A new technique has emerged where an employee of a large business or government agency might receive a call from someone claiming that the employee owes some sort of debt and if they do not pay up, the caller threatens to take down the phone lines at the employee’s workplace. If the employee refuses to cooperate, their workplace then experiences what amount to a denial of service attack with hundreds if not thousands of phone calls being place to the business’ or agencies’ phone lines tying them up.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaints of telephone calls asking or demanding personal information are up also. The FTC has said that complaints about telephone fraud were 34% of all fraud complaints in 2012, up from 20% in 2010.
As often happens with many criminals, fraudsters change their tactics as old techniques become less successful. Be wary of anyone who calls you asking for your personal information. If they do, hang up.
For more details, go to the New York Times article: