(PRWEB) September 30, 2011
NumberInvestigator.com, a leading provider of online reverse phone directory services, wishes to alert consumers to a criminal utility customer contact effort that targets senior citizens and other utility customers. This deceptive scheme takes advantage of consumers by impersonating local service and utility companies.
Here’s how the scam works; a person posing as customer service agent or billing specialist contacts an unsuspecting bill payer and tells them that his or her monthly utility payment has been received but the check was not signed. In order to rectify the situation, consumers are then asked for a credit card number to pay the bill in question. Once the con artist has the credit card information, it is possible for them to use it online, sell it on the black market or even steal the identity of the unassuming customer. It is unknown how many consumers have been contacted by these imposters, but NumberInvestigator.com speculates that seniors may be a chief target because of their proclivity to make utility payments by check.
Despite having security teams that work with the customer service departments to identify and stop this kind of criminal activity, utility companies cannot fully eradicate these phone scammers. NumberInvestigator.com wants to arm consumers with the following tips to help them avoid becoming a victim to this scam:
- In cases when utility companies legitimately need to contact a customer or subscriber regarding their account, customer service agents or billing specialists are specifically trained to authenticate themselves and the company they represent and will never force a customer to exchange personal information over the phone.
- Never give out personal information to an unsolicited caller. If contacted by a utility company that is requesting personal or financial information, hang up and call the company directly using a phone provided on invoices or website to inquire about your account and payment status.
- If contacted by a suspicious caller, consumers should use NumberInvestigator.com to find out more about the number where the suspicious call came from. Obtain the ten digit phone number from caller ID and use NumberInvestigator.com to find out more information about the caller or business associated with the number, including name, address, and to see if there have been other complaints lodged against the number.
- If consumers believe they have been victimized by this scam, they should contact their credit card company immediately to cancel their card and ensure no fraudulent charges appear on their account. They should also contact their local police department and file a report.
NumberInvestigator.com is a leading provider of reverse phone lookup services that enable consumers to search any 10 digit phone number, including cell numbers (where available), landline numbers, and VoIP to accurately find the owner or business that is associated with that number. NumberInvestigator.com empowers consumers with a community of users that report and share suspicious or malicious calls and the phone numbers linked with them. Consumers get instant access to critical information about the people and businesses they interact with on a daily basis.