CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is urging the public to be wary of robocalls that seek to deceive consumers into believing that fraudulent activity exists on their checking, savings or purchasing account.
Con artists engaging in the scheme frequently pose as the consumer’s bank or the representative of a familiar online purchasing platform, such as Amazon, Apple or others. The caller then requests account information to confirm and fix the situation, however, telling them this opens the consumer to actual fraud.
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has recently learned of such thieves swiping consumer bank accounts of $1,600 to $5,000. In another instance, quick action allowed the bank to stop a pending withdrawal of $5,000.
“Scam artists are despicable,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The fraudsters prey upon the consumer’s fear. Everyone should stay calm and take a deep breath. A couple seconds of reason can save months of financial headache.”
The ploy often begins with a recorded message and the claim of potential fraud. It then urges the consumer to speak with a live representative by pressing a specific number or utilizing a specified callback number.
The Attorney General urges those receiving such calls to follow these tips:
– End the call.
– Don’t panic. Stay calm and do not feel pressured to provide information.
– Never share personally identifiable, financial and otherwise sensitive information without verifying the legitimacy of the recipient.
– Call the company’s verified phone number. Find such information on a recent statement or the company’s legitimate website.
– Beware of call spoofing. Scammers can mimic a legitimate phone number to lure consumers to believe the incoming call comes from a recognizable business.
– Never agree to send cash, wire money or provide numbers associated with a credit/debit card or bank account.
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of such a scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808 or visit the office online.