COLUMBUS, Ga – ‘Tis the season for love and peace, but also for criminals to be on the prowl for your hard-earned money. News 3 is “On Your Side” with some reminders about avoiding telephone scams.
Remember, no reputable organization will call your home and demand a credit card payment over the phone, nor will they ask you to get a pre-paid card to pay them.
Never give anyone who calls you personally identifying information over the phone, such as your social security number.
Last week, dozens of utility companies across the nation came together including Georgia Power and Flint Energies to remind customers about telephone scams, particularly those that target the elderly.
“If the scammer says, ‘I need you to pay me now,’ they often tell people, ‘I need a debit card or even an iTunes card’ [that] you buy at a store. If you buy it and put your money on it, and you call the scammer back at their phone number, not ours, but their phone number [and pay them], it’s amazing. You’ll actually be giving money directly to them off of those cards that you can never recover, that you can never get back,” says Jimmy Autry, Senior VP of Member and Community Relations at Flint Energies.
Remember, criminals can even make the number on your caller ID look like the power company’s or any other legitimate organization. Don’t be afraid to hang up. You can always call a business back if you’re concerned about the status of your account.