Watch out for fake phone calls, emails
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Durham police report that local residents have been getting calls and emails claiming that they owe money for utility bills. Police say these calls are fraudulent and warn residents to beware. When residents are contacted by these scammers, they are asked to provide their credit card number for payment. This information can be used to steal a person’s money and identity. To avoid becoming a victim:
- Beware of phone calls or emails that ask for your personal information like your Social Security Number, credit card or bank account number. Legitimate companies will not ask you for this information this way.
- Never share personal financial information by email, even with someone you know and trust. Email can be vulnerable to hackers. If you need to share information with a legitimate company, use a secure Web site. Look for a lock icon on the Web site and a Web address that starts with “https."
- Report phishing calls or emails to the real business or organization that the scammer pretends to be. Contact the company using a telephone number or Web address you know to be right. Do not use the contact information given in the phone call or email. Also, forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission at email@example.com.
- Protect yourself quickly if you respond to a phishing phone call or email. Contact your bank and/or credit card company immediately. You could also be a victim of identity theft.
If you have responded to one of these calls or emails with your personal information, please contact Attorney General Roy Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division for assistance at www.ncdoj.gov
or 1-877-566-NO-SCAM toll free within North Carolina.