LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Officers with the Lincoln Police Department are sending out a word of warning, after a woman lost nearly $3,000 in gift cards to a stolen identity phone scam.
According to LPD, on Tuesday a 20-year-old woman reported that around 11 a.m. she received a call from a number that was similar to her own.
Officers said the woman explained that a man on the line told her that her identity had been stolen and she needed to pay to get a new social security number.
LPD said the woman was told that she needed to go to Target to get gift cards to pay the scammer on the phone, and he insisted that she could not hang up the phone and that he was recording the call.
The scammer told the woman the government had an agreement with Target and after she purchased a total of $2,900 in Target gift cards, she gave the information on the back of the cards to the scammer, according to police.
LPD said when the woman spoke with family members later on, they notified her this was a scam and she contacted police.
Officers want to remind everyone, if you are being told you need to pay money to any government agency, tell the person you will call the agency yourself to verify the information.
LPD said it’s also a good practice to involve another family member and discuss the information before deciding to pay any money. Police want all of us to remember that government agencies do not request payment by gift cards over the phone.
Stopping a phone scam
The Federal Trade Commission says phone scams come in many forms, but generally have similar styles and ask you to pay in certain ways.
- Hangup – when you get a robocall, don’t press any numbers, it may lead to more robocalls
- Consider call blocking – scammers can use the internet to make calls from all over the world. The National Do Not Call Registry does not stop them. Your best defense against unwanted calls is call blocking. Mobile phones can download different call-blocking apps in your app store
- Don’t trust your caller ID – scammers can make any name or number show up which is called spoofing. But the scammer could be calling from anywhere in the world
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