A phone scam that has been around for several years is making the rounds again in Hopkins County. The heart of the scam is the tried and true “Purchase a gift card, and tell me the numbers” bit. These individuals typically have thick accents and use strangely suspicious ‘American Names’.
How it works
You may receive a robo call, telling you a story about winning a mayor prize, in my case it was a very famous publishing house sweepstakes. My particular prize package was 7.5 million and a red Mercedes sedan. You are then given confirmation codes and then instructed to call another number to speak with a manager. The number I was given had a Las Vegas area code (775) 572 2226, and I was told to ask for ‘Mark Diamond’.
Once called, more story will be given including a choice to have a “public or private” prize delivery. Either way, you will be instructed to go to a local retailer to get a ‘verification form’ aka ‘One Vanilla Visa Gift Card’. The IRS required fee for receiving the prize ($7.5 million and a new Mercedes) is $499… conveniently just under the maximum amount one can put on most gift cards. The card will need to be given to the delivery team when they arrive to give you the prize. Of course there is no delivery team or TV crew. The thief just wants the numbers from the card, so they can take the money.. and probably drive away with it in their own Mercedes.
Knowledge is power. This information may keep a family member from losing precious resources. Please share it with anyone you feel might be susceptible to these criminals. Click here for more information on scams from Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General.