The Norman Transcript


December 21, 2013

Holiday season fraud alert!



The message went on to urge customers to call the bank directly if they have any questions about suspicious phone calls or emails. This is good advice. Never believe anything you hear or read in an unsolicited message without checking it out, first. When in doubt, do not hesitate to call your bank or credit card company and ask for clarification.

Other holiday season scams have been making the rounds, as they do every year. Phone call scams, using personal information harvested from the Internet, are becoming more popular with the bad guys. I still hear from customers every week or so about someone from the “Microsoft Technical Team” or the “Norton Security Division” calling and claiming to have detected problems over the Internet with someone’s computer, and insisting they need to grant remote access and control to these “experts” so the problems can be fixed. Go to, search for “Dave Moore scamming the scammers” and you can see some of my adventures with this particular issue.

Another prevalent scam, one some folks would say is even more insidious, is when scammers collect names and phone numbers found on the Internet belonging to senior citizens, and then call them on the phone, addressing them directly, using their real names.

The scammers claim to be “Sergeant Jones from the Calgary Police Department,” or some other far-away place. They say the victim’s grandchild was kidnapped, managed to escape the kidnappers and is taking refuge at their police station. Could they please wire some money so the child can be sent home?

They then put a little boy or girl on the phone, even using the grandchild’s real name, which the scammers also found on the Internet. The child starts saying things like, “Grandma, I’m scared. I want to come home. Help me, please!” The whole presentation is very persuasive, and many well-meaning grandparents have been conned this way.

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