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6/18/2013 6:01:00 AM
Scam alert: A gift card isn't worth your personal information

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN -  Another day, another scheme to steal from unsuspecting Kingmanites who have been told they've "won" something and all they have to do is provide the caller with their banking information.

The latest scam arrives in the mail, according to Lucy Brown, and tells the person they've won a $100 gift card that is good either at Walmart or Target.

All the "winner" has to do is call the phone number and give the "operator standing by" their bankcard information so they can take $6.95 out of their account in order to activate the card.

Brown refused, telling the man with a foreign accent that a stamp only costs 43 cents and she'd be happy to mail him the money.

"He refused," said Brown. "He said, 'Oh no. You must give us your debit card number.' I hung up."

Brown, 70, was calling for her 72-year-old sister, to whom the notification was sent.

Brown provided the Kingman Daily Miner with the phone number of the unnamed company. When a Miner reporter called to verify the legitimacy of the firm, the person who answered the phone hung up.

Brown called the Kingman Walmart and was told it was a scam.

"I feel like people need to know about this," said Brown. "There's a lot of senior citizens in the Kingman area and they'll walk right into this."

Police Chief Robert DeVries and Sheriff Tom Sheahan in the recent past have warned residents to never give out personal banking information.

The scammers are skilled at mimicking the websites of reputable banking institutions and companies, but those businesses don't ever seek any banking information through email or phone calls.

Similar scams involve fake lotteries, fraudulent emails from banks stating they need personal information because a recent computer overhaul caused information to be lost, and even emails and phone calls from people purportedly representing law enforcement in a foreign country. They tell the intended victim that a friend or relative is embroiled in a legal problem and needs bail money.

Unfortunately, most of these scams are perpetrated from outside the country, making prosecution next to impossible.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: No name.

I got a call sometime last week about an alert of possible fraudulent use on my Chase Credit Card. I was half asleep when I got the call and after asking what card again, I exclaimed I don't HAVE a Chase Credit Card. The man with a foreign accent hung up immediately.

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: Raymond Fast Horse

A lot of people read your paper , you should try to help us out by putting the scammers phone number in the article

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Gift Cards are a waste of money, send a money order, check, they spend just as good and once cashed that cash has no expiration date nor does it limit how it can be spent other than the denomination! If folks quit buying them they would fade out as obsolete!

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: Could've Been Scammed

Last Sunday I received a call from "Chase Bank".. the young gentleman was very polite and asked me how my day was going. IMMEDIATE RED FLAG ONE!
He stated I had been to the bank recently and asked me how was my experience. IMMEDIATE RED FLAG TWO!
Then he said he wanted to verify my transaction...okay so it takes me a while... RED FLAG THREE!
I replied that I did not appreciate MY BANK calling me on a Sunday, That under no uncertain terms was I going to give him any information about my recent transaction and that it was none of his business how I was doing. I layed into him that Chase Bank would NEVER, EVER call me on the phone and ask me about any recent transactions and that if I had ANY questions I would go to the branch and ask them... not have a friendly chat on the phone with the like of him....
he hung up
THEY are out there and we always need to be suspicious and alert to the scammers. This one was shut down by me, but I imagine he had a list of people he called that Sunday morning. I hope no one was scammed by this degenerate.

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: pl .....

"Hi. I'm from the Government. You've won an illegal war based upon a pack of lies. Actually, you've won around 75 undeclared illegal wars all around the world based not only on a pack of lies - a reference to those acts of terrorism which we, in fact, committed - but also based upon the destruction of your money supply. Therefore, we don't need your ATM card in the event. What we do need is your acquiescence in the face of absolutely tyrannical surveillance, illegal home break-ins, and bald-faced lies at every level of government and media."

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: Ashley Baldwin

This makes me sick. Why have so many people resorted to dishonest trickery? If you're too much of a low-life to go out and work like the rest of us, maybe you should ship yourself to timbucktwo!

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