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new identity-scam technique

By john.a.wills ·
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Last Saturday I got a phone call at home. Someone slightly unused to using the phone (like a lot of junk phoners...) claimed to be a debt collector and, to confirm whether I was the person he was looking for, enquired about the last 4 digits of my Social Security Number. So I put the phone down. Obviously he was hoping to use the information to reset my password to something. Last night the same thing happened again, with a different phoner. Three thoughts arise.
1. The police should know about this, but the phone company was unable to trace the call and inform the police.
2. Is this really new, and is it happening to anyone else?
3. Why don't junk phoners listen when the phone is answered? And why do they ask "Is this John?", as though involved in some guessing game, when they must mean "Is that John?"?

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Couple of questions

by JamesRL In reply to new identity-scam techniq ...

1) Do you not have caller ID?
2) If he is a debt collector, he should be able to provide you with information on your accounts.
3) You have to find the right people in the police, the fraud squad or something similar.
4) They don't listen, because they do this over and over, hoping to find that one person in a thousand who actually believes them.They have a script.

I've never had this scam. I have refused calls from my bank because they came from an unknown number. Instead I tell them I will call their telephone banking service and find out what they want. They have security questions for me on file.

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Caller ID

by pfeiffep In reply to new identity-scam techniq ...

If the phone # is listed as unavailable, or anonymous we don't answer the phone at all. Over the past few months intrusive phone calls have lessened quite a bit. By not answering we do have a voice mail box that is ignored 99% of the time by intrusive callers.

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"the phone company was unable to trace the call"

by seanferd In reply to new identity-scam techniq ...

They'll usually tell you that if you don't file a police report first, and the police aren't always interested, to the point where they will be outright dismissive (even in a town where they really don't have much to do).

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Soon to be followed

by santeewelding In reply to "the phone company w ...

By inaction due to budget cuts, your unanswered hue and cry of armed robbery in progress, shots fired.

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Oddly enough

by seanferd In reply to Soon to be followed

I don't think the law enforcement budget has ever been cut here. Everything else has been drastically cut, some services never to return. Yet while the city was a-hurtin' so bad, they were playing eminent domain games and shooting to build an new rec center, which the school now uses for swimming as maintaining the existing pool became passé. (Actually, I think that was part of the gambit.) And since the 80's every year there are more vacant shops and lots. I don't think the office building dropped on one of the eminent domain claims has ever been close to filled.

Yet during the hard times, police got new cars (cool stuff, not necessary replacements), computers, added a couple motorcycle officers, and they constantly lurk about ready to perform revenue enhancement duties. (Not so much to protect, even less to serve.) They mostly have nothing to do, and rarely anything serious. When I was a kid, there was a cop who got harassed by the other cops for not randomly harassing teenagers.

I'd have to say that the good officers that have served here have been outstanding. The rest have always been a bunch of the usual suspects.

What they really need is a second ambulance and maybe fire & EMT staff to go with it. Most mayors and council members here don't know how to run a government or a business.

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