Officials: Phone Scam Targets Elderly

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By: Kara Duffy
October 22, 2013

Thomasville, GA- Investigators with the Thomas County Sheriff's Office say just within the past two days they've received several reports of shady phone calls.

They say the scam starts with a phone call from someone claiming to be from VISA, warning that suspicious purchases are currently being made on that person's credit card.

"The people were very high pressure, all of them were males on the phone, they all had a foreign accents, and they kept reiterating to the people, 'You're going to be responsible for these charges if you don't allow us to stop it, and in order to stop it, I have to have your card number. You've got to give me your card number,'" said Captain Steve Jones with the Thomas County Sheriff's Office.

One woman, who did not want to be identified, said she received the call around 9:00 p.m. one evening.

"He told me that someone in Lithonia, Georgia was trying to make a purchase of a generator for $745 and was using my card, and did he have the authority to do it, I said, no," she said.

The victim then said the caller passed the phone over to his alleged supervisor.

"I said, you give me the number and I will verify it, and he said, 'oh, I can't do that for security reasons,' and I said okay and he said, 'it starts with a four.' I talked to the lady at VISA and she said, they all start with four," the woman explained.

Deputies say so far none of the victims have fallen for the scam, but they are urging people to be on the look out, especially the elderly.

"The elderly seem to be the target of so many of these scams because they, in the scammers' eyes, are a little easier to convince, they play on their heartstrings," Captain Jones said.

Captain Jones also said they spoke with officials at VISA who told them under no circumstances would they call and ask for personal information over the phone. Instead, they would ask for you to verify it.

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