Fraudulent phone calls luring victims from their homesby Nick LaFleur on Sep. 27, 2011, under alert, Life, scam, Tips
Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona advises consumers to be wary of unsolicited calls claiming they have won gift cards from local stores. The scam is meant to lure people away from their homes, giving burglars the opportunity to break in. While BBB has not heard that the scam has popped up in Tucson yet, it has lately victimized numerous consumers across the country.
Consumers will receive a call from someone alleging to be from a local store. The unknown caller claims the consumer has won a gift card and asks the consumer to come to the store and claim his or her prize.
When the consumers arrive at the store to claim the prize, they find out that there is no gift card and there never was. Once they return home, they discover their house has been burglarized.
BBB recommends the following tips to protect you from becoming a victim:
Ask questions. Callers should identify who they are, who they work for and how you supposedly won the prize. Generally, you cannot win a prize if you have not entered a contest.
Be cautious of unknown callers. If someone calls stating you have “won” or been “gifted” or “prized” with anything of value, think twice and act smart. Especially if the callers use the name of an official entity, make certain that you go “off the call” and contact the official entity to confirm the information.
Report all suspicious behavior. If you fall victim to a similar scam, report the burglary immediately to your local police so they can begin an investigation.