Mid-Valley Scam Alert: Suspected Scam Timing Phone Call

Mid-Valley Scam Alert: Suspected Scam Timing Phone Call

“He seemed to know everything from my social security account and my date of birth and everything,” Poppleton told Mid-Valley Media. “He gave me a phone number and he told me to call (him) back when I got my new credit card.”

When an Albany resident went to get a new bank card recently, he received a pleasant surprise. A scammer called him right away, attempting to get him to reveal his new card number. On his bank statement, Roy Poppleton, 86, spotted a $1,100 charge for the purchase of Quickbooks Pro. He went to his bank to ask for the transaction to be reversed and a new card to be created. The next day, Poppleton received a call from “Mike Watson, with the National Debt Relief Program,” who identified himself as “Mike Watson, with the National Debt Relief Program.”


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    It seems pretty likely that this ‘Mike Watson’ was the scammer who somehow obtained access to Poppleton’s account and paid for Quickbooks Pro. The moment he lost access the man’s finances, he called to try and coax the information out. Poppleton held firm and didn’t divulge the new info, but he says it was alarming just how much information this phony Watson seemed to have.

  • While the National Debt Relief Program is a real thing, its representatives do not call people up already knowing all of their personal information. Businesses that work with the elderly (or, really anyone, for that matter) are also trained to Your membership makes our reporting possible. All of that aside, it’s the timing that’s the most suspicious aspect of all.

If you receive such a call, do not provide your financial or personal information. You should also frequently check your bank account statements for charges that you did not authorize. If you notice a fraudulent charge, contact your financial institution immediately.

“He had every bit of information you could possibly want,” Poppleton said. “My social security number, my birthday, my address.”

You can also get a temporary freeze on your credit, so scammers can’t take out loans in your name if they happen to have your other information, as was the case here. You can also look into monitoring services that alert you to fraudulent activity on your Social Security account.

Also, and this cannot be stressed enough, you don’t need to answer the phone in the first place. If you don’t recognize the number, let it go to voicemail. If it’s important, they will leave a message and you can call right back. Scammers, on the other hand, rarely bother to, and answering the phone only gives them the assurance that there is a potential mark on the other end of the line.