“It should have dawned on me that I needed to check this woman’s credentials, but I didn’t.”
Donna Clark is still kicking herself after she took a phone call from someone claiming to be from Amazon, telling her someone had bought a cell phone on her account. That should have raised red flags, but didn’t until it was too late.
“She said we’re going to need to have your credit card number to get your money returned to you card,” said Clark. “So I gave her my credit card number and my expiration and all the information she wanted.”
The caller was not from Amazon, and Donna says she lost $400. Crime Prevention Specialist Laura Landes with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office says it happens often.
“Nobody wants to be charged for something they didn’t purchase. They’re on the phone saying they’re going to help you and stop this order, so you give them a lot more luxury and trust than they actually deserve,” said Landes.
Landes says all ages are getting hurt.
“Our victims are not just elderly any more. We’re seeing a large rise in population 17-30 years old becoming victims.”
Another popular scheme, involves an alleged vehicle found on the border in Texas. Landes says a caller usually posing as the FBI or DEA wants to talk to you about it.
“‘Your information has been found in a vehicle seized on the border that contained drugs, we need some more information from you.’ Most people when they hear this, I’m going to guess, 50 percent hang up,” said Landes. “But the others get miffed and don’t want to be connected with criminal activity so they want to be helpful because these people are posing as law enforcement agencies.”
Landes says anytime you are asked to pay with a gift card to resolve an issue, that’s a red flag.
Donna Clark shared her story to warn others.
“I want to make sure that nobody else goes through what I went through,” Clark said.
Officials say if you have any question about whether something is legitimate, don’t hesitate to call, 911.