Source: Sherman Publications

Resident warns seniors to beware of phone scam

by CJ Carnacchio

April 24, 2013

A scam artist met his match when he called Donna Zastrow last week and tried to con her out of some personal financial information.

Not only did the 73-year-old Oxford Township resident not give him anything, she’s sounding the alarm so other senior citizens don’t get taken advantage of.

“We need to warn our little old ladies,” said Zastrow, who’s lived here for 43 years. “I’m steamed up about it. Everybody should know about this because somebody might get scammed.”

On April 17, Zastrow received a call from a man with “an Indian accent.” Her caller ID indicated it was from Texas.

The man, who did not say what organization he was representing, informed Zastrow he wanted to send her some type of medical card that “all senior citizens are supposed to get and carry with them at times.”

Zastrow asked him what this card was for and he told her, “When you go to the doctor, you need to show this card.”

He already had her address and phone number, which he wanted to verify.

He then asked Zastrow where she does her banking and what her account number is.

“I said I’m not giving out that information and he hung up on me,” she said.

The number that appeared on Zastrow’s caller ID was (409) 574-1214.

This reporter called the number and it doesn’t work.

“The police said nine times out of 10 you can’t call that number back,” Zastrow said.

Some tips for avoiding telemarketing scams

• Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company.

• Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer or charity.

• Always check out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, state attorney general, the National Fraud Information Center, or other watchdog groups.

• Obtain a salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number before you transact business. Verify the accuracy of these items.

• Don’t pay in advance for services. Pay services only after they are delivered.

• Be wary of companies that want to send a messenger to your home to pick up money, claiming it is part of their service to you.

• Never respond to an offer you don’t understand thoroughly.

• Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.

Source: The Federal Bureau of Investigation