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Home News-Telegram News ‘Parcel Tracking Notice,’ credit union con latest scams to hit area

‘Parcel Tracking Notice,’ credit union con latest scams to hit area

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It would appear that one of the fastest-growing jobs in the nation today would come under the heading of “Artist” — at least in the “Con” or “Scam” categories, anyway.

The proliferation of phone, mail and Internet-based con jobs seemingly continues to grow every week, with imitators of the U.S. Postal Service the latest to promote a new scheme.

Betty Landes, a familiar face around the Senior Citizens Center at 150 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, reported the latest iteration of “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” on Tuesday.

Landes had received a green postcard-sized document in the mail identified as a “Parcel Tracking Notice.” According to the notice, a “pre-paid” parcel containing jewelry with an “original price” of $50 awaits the recipient of the postcard. All that was needed was a call to a toll-free number to arrange to pay for a “processing and delivery fee” of $6.95.

Landes called the 800 number on the card. The operator asked for credit card information.

Landes, who doesn’t strike you as the kind of person to put up with much nonsense, hung up and visited the post office. There, she was told the whole thing was probably some type of scam.

Landes counts among her friends at the Senior Citizens Center the director, Karon Weatherman, who also recently received news of a scam reported in the Texarkana area involving Red River Federal Credit Union, a legitimate organization.

The scam involves text and e-mail messages, but is primarily telephone-based. People are called with an automated message telling them their account has been frozen due to unauthorized, third-party debit card transactions. The message then instructs people to press the number 1  and provide their card numbers and security numbers.

“This then gives the caller access to all their information,” wrote Vickie Kesraj, a benefits counselor for Ark-Tex Council of Governments who e-mailed Weatherman about the Red Rivers scam. “The person receiving this call should just hang up.”

While this particular case involves a financial institution in Texarkana, this type of con job is occurring at different banks across the region, area bank officials say.

 

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