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Consumer Watch

Scamming the everyday buyer

Updated:

Phones, emails, letters-scam artists use all their resources available to swindle you out of your money. NEWS 9's Amanda Taylor and the Consumer Watch team provide helpful tips on how to avoid the latest scam artists.

Starting November 15, 2007, seniors will be able to enroll for Medicare for the following year. Seniors know it and so do scam artists.

"We've seen unscrupulous people really try to take advantage of our seniors," Kim Holland, Oklahoma Insurance commissioner. "Because of the confusion and complexity of these particular products and that they're new ; we've seen unscrupulous people...calling them [seniors] up and perhaps suggesting they're with Medicare or social security, and trying to get information from them that they misuse."

Oklahoma's Medicare office will never call you to get information. You would have to call them and that's why the Insurance Commissioner wants you, and the scam artists, on alert.

"We're watching and don't, don't even think about it. We'll find you and we'll catch you and we'll make sure you're brought to justice," warns Holland.

Another type of scamming you should be alerted about affects not only seniors, but all of us who hold a credit card.

Denise Keeton received an email the other day from her sister warning her about a scam email. Keeton's sister had seen the email on Snopes.com, a website dedicated to debunking urban legends and email scams, and wanted to warn Keeton.

The scammer already has your credit card number, perhaps from an old statement you threw out. The scammer calls you, saying they're from the Security and Fraud department at Visa or MasterCard. Then the person tells you your account has been flagged for an unusual purchase, but their fraud department will investigate and credit your account. They only need to verify you're in possession of the card.

They then ask you to turn the card over and read the last three digits on the back-and that's the scam. Those three digits are the security feature on your credit card. As soon as someone has those numbers, along with your account number, they can make online and over-the-phone purchases as if they were you.

Denise is now glad to know so she won't be the next victim. 

"Words couldn't even explain. It would devastate us a lot," she said.

While NEWS 9 could not confirm if the last scam really happened, it has the potential.

Here's another way to stay safe.

If you're really worried about a store employee writing down your three digit number, you can record that number in a safe place; then use a pen and scratch out on the card so no one knows it but you.

If there is a problem Amanda or the Consumer Watch team can help you with, please call the hotline at 841-9921.

 

Starting November 15, 2007, seniors will be able to enroll for Medicare for the following year. Seniors know it and so do scam artists.

"We've seen unscrupulous people really try to take advantage of our seniors,"stated Kim Holland, Oklahoma Insurance commissioner. "Because of the confusion and complexity of these particular products and that they're new ; we've seen unscrupulous people...calling them [seniors] up and perhaps suggesting they're with Medicare or social security, and trying to get information from them that they misuse."

Oklahoma's Medicare office will never call you to get information. You would have to call them and that's why the Insurance Commissioner wants you, and the scam artists, on alert.

"We're watching and don't, don't even think about it. We'll find you and we'll catch you and we'll make sure you're brought to justice," warns Holland.

Another type of scamming you should be alerted about affects not only seniors, but all of us who hold a credit card.

Denise Keeton received an email the other day from her sister warning her about a scam email. Keeton's sister had seen the email on Snopes.com, a website dedicated to debunking urban legends and email scams, and wanted to warn Keeton.

The scammer already has your credit card number, perhaps from an old statement you threw out. The scammer calls you, saying they're from the Security and Fraud department at Visa or MasterCard. Then the person tells you your account has been flagged for an unusual purchase, but their fraud department will investigate and credit your account. They only need to verify you're in possession of the card.

They then ask you to turn the card over and read the last three digits on the back-and that's the scam. Those three digits are the security feature on your credit card. As soon as someone has those numbers, along with your account number, they can make online and over-the-phone purchases as if they were you.

Denise is now glad to know so she won't be the next victim. 

"Words couldn't even explain. It would devastate us a lot," she said.

While NEWS 9 could not confirm if the last scam really happened, it has the potential.

Here's another way to stay safe.

If you're really worried about a store employee writing down your three digit number, you can record that number in a safe place; then use a pen and scratch out on the card so no one knows it but you.

If there is a problem Amanda or the Consumer Watch team can help you with, please call the hotline at 841-9921.

Originally Aired: 11-14-07

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