Rockdale man foils ‘wrong number’ scam
Ted Hubert

The “ wrong number scam” entered Milam County this week. The scam attempt in Rockdale, happened this way.

The telephone rang and the caller asked for someone who doesn’t live there.

Pleasantries were exchanged and that ends that. At least that is what Ernest Hoffmeyer thought.

Another wrong number call was received. At this point the con artist took control of the situation, making a pitch by asking, if the Hoffmeyers are interested in “free” money.

Of course, he needed their bank account number.

Ernest replied, “No, I am not interested in free money. Are you trying to scam me?” The caller hung up.

Hoffmeyer lamented over not get t ing more infor mat ion to report. Little can be done if the victim does not lose money or other valuable considerations, simply because no crime has been committed.

Here’s a list of 12 common telephone scams:

• Securities and exchange.

• Telemarketing.

• Charities and fund raising.

• Credit and loan offers.

• Government grants.

• Identity theft.

• Medical discount plans.

• Reloading.

• Robo-calls.

• Sweepstakes and lotteries.

• Travel.

• Work at home opportunities.

Most of these have appeared in a MCT article, at one time or other.

Some have not been written up, but the Milam County case adds a 13th scam to the list.

The Federal Trade Commission protects consumers.

It warns us about responding to (phishing) fishing tactics from crooks trying to get information to pursue their criminal plan which could get a little of your money or completely wipe out your savings.

The lures have hooks like instant wealth, travel opportunities, free money, inheritance from a distant relative, and more.

As soon as you decide this is a scam, the FTC suggests you simply say “no thank you” and hang up.

MCT advises you to hang up the telephone without saying another word. Responding victims send messages that they are willing to talk, so the con artists “reloads” by sending another scam or two or three.

Listen for comments that “sucker” you in, such as: you were picked to hear this offer, or people that buy a particular product will receive bonuses.

A company can contact Federal Trade Commission via telephone at 1-817-438-4357.

Those having trouble with identity theft can call 1- 877-438- 4338.

If you want to register a complaint, report a violation or register your phone on the “Do Not Call” list call 1-888-382-1222. Listen carefully the next time you get a wrong number.

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2011-05-12 digital edition

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