Purse Snatching a New Component of Phone Scams

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Phone scams have escalated from simple calls to more complex theft crimes. It's a sad state of affairs when callers of any kind must be labeled as "guilty until proven innocent".

For Lake Forest Park, Washington, an increase in theft has developed into a crafty phone scam. In the last few months, thieves have stolen purses and wallets from residents which contain personal information including the victim's phone number. If it wasn't enough of a crime to steal an innocent person's personal belongings, criminals are stepping it up and using victims' personal information against them.

Fear always keeps people from suspecting foul play...

Once the suspects gather the victims' cell phone numbers, they call claiming to be the bank fraud department. They request the victims change their pin numbers to avoid any further criminal activity. At first thought, the phone call seems legitimate especially since the recipients just lost their credit cards and personal information. Unsuspecting and afraid, the victims offer their pin number to the person on the phone. The criminals use the pin to steal more money from the victims.

People are urged to never divulge their pin numbers or bank account information over the phone. Banks will never ask for this information on a phone call. If fraudulent activity surfaces, the bank would ask you to come in person to make sure they are speaking to the person directly.

The scam activity continues...

Lake Forest Park is also falling prey to the Drug Enforcement Agent Scam which attacks grandparents. Criminals pose as a DEA Agent claiming a grandchild had something confiscated. The grandparents are pressured into sending $4500 in cash through Western Union and to keep it secret or the grandchild will be arrested for drug charges. The suspects continue to call all day until the grandparent caves.

This tactic is a fear tactic and used to scare people into spending money. The crimes play on people's weaknesses and hit them right where they don't expect it.

Similar to the bank fraud calls, the DEA will never call and ask for money to keep someone from arrest. These tactics are simply schemes designed to prey on unsuspecting victims.

If you are ever suspicious about a telephone call, first stay calm. Do not do anything irrational. If the matter is serious, contact your local police department immediately. If the matter is not serious but you think it may be a scam, you can perform a reverse phone lookup to discover the identity of the caller and stop these scammers in their tracks.