Better Business Bureau alerts consumers to phone scams

September 1, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 1, 2010

Beware of scammers attempting to collect credit card information and personal identification numbers.

The warning to Washington residents came from the Better Business Bureau, after Olympia and Lacey residents reported suspicious phone calls from unknown callers attempting to collect the sensitive data under the guise of verification purposes.

The callers identify Evergreen as the business name. The calls appear to originate at 502-568-8884, but the caller has spoofed the number on caller ID to match a phone number that belongs to a legitimate, Kentucky-based business: The Zoppoth Law Firm.

The nonprofit Better Business Bureau continues to investigate the origin of the unidentified caller.

The organization advised residents to steer clear of anonymous requests for personal information:

  • Be wary of requests to “verify” information, especially if the caller claims affiliation with a well-known business or government agency.
  • Never give out credit card information or Social Security numbers to unknown or unsolicited requests.
  • If interested in making a purchase over the phone, verify authenticity first. Request the caller’s name, company name, address and phone number; inform him or her that you will contact them if interested. If the representative refuses to give out basic company information, don’t bother.
  • Research the company name online. Be skeptical if negative results show up; make sure the company information provided matches information posted online. Check for a BBB Reliability Report.
  • Contact the company using contact information found on their official website or in a public directory. Do not rely on the information the caller provided.
  • When contacting the company, confirm that the call legitimate; verify that the solicitor is a valid employee and that the call actually came from the company. Get written materials or agreements before making purchases over the phone.
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