WARNING: Don’t Fall For This New Phone Scam That Almost Tricked Me
Just when you think you have heard all of the scams out there, another one comes creeping on up out of nowhere.
Listen to Nicole Murray middays on 94.3 The Point and download our free 94.3 The Point app.
I think a lot of us have caught on to the typical warnings signs that we are, in fact, dealing with a scam.
A few include:
Receiving calls from unknown numbers.
Asking for personal information.
Being given an extreme deadline.
And of course, being asked to pay a nice chunk of change for whatever reason.
The one I experienced yesterday included all of these and I wanted to tell you about it because the more you know, the better chance you have of not falling for one.
I got a call at about 3:00 PM on Sunday afternoon -- which is another red flag because anyone involved in anything legit is usually not working at that time.
I was watching Hocus Pocus when I answered this phone call and it started off as a prerecorded message.
(I am working off of memory so this won't be exact)
"Hello. You are receiving this message because of an electrical problem at your home and your power is about to be turned off unless the proper bills are paid."
Something along those lines.....?? Listen, it sounded more convincing on the phone.
I then had the option to press 2 and be connected to their billing department.
I know this shouldn't have been my top priority but I thought, "If my power gets cut while I am watching 'Hocus Pocus'....."
I was then connected to a gentlemen who asked for my address and county.
He asked a few other questions of how I was directed to him...for example, did I receive a pre-recorded message or email?
I said pre-recorded. He said that I received this message because there is an issue with my generator and the hardware was going to expire and my power was going to turn off in about an hour and a half.
I started to ask questions: Who are you with? Why was I not notified until today?
"Well....did you check your mail? We sent you a notice on this expiration."
Of course, I said I did not receive.
"To fix this issue, we need a deposit of approximately $495 to fix your generator and your power will not be turned off."
When I continued to ask questions, he just kept repeating the same thing.
There was also some sort of delay or something which helped him avoid answering all the questions I was asking.
Eventually, I ran downstairs to my neighbor who is older and more wisdomous than I am just to be sure...because my gosh, no power?
"Nicole. It's a scam. Hang up."
"But what if....??"
"Do you pay your electric bills?"
"Yes," I said.
"Did you pay this month's?"
"Yes." I said.
"Hang up," he said.
Long story short: no, my power did not shut off and my beautiful neighbor saved me from making a very expensive mistake.
Yes, I was already suspicious.
But now that I think about it, Sundays are even sketchier than I had originally thought because anyone I would have called to confirm or deny this was not in.
There are a lot of warning signs here but I do understand how people can panic at stuff like this.
"No power? Oh my god...what am I going to do without power??"
Remain calm and logical to the best of your abilities.
My neighbor, within seconds, had pointed out a few major holes in the logicality of this whole situation.
My new golden rule? If I don't know or recognize the number, I don't answer.
If they need something or it is important, they'll leave a voicemail. I guarantee it.
Good luck out there.
If you have stumbled upon a different scam, email me at Nicole.Murray@townsquaremedia.com.
The more people that know, the fewer people that will fall for them.
Good luck out there.
But you wanna know what's not a scam? New Jersey Diners....so here we go....