Just got a telephone call from “Amazon Security,” which wanted to talk to me about my account.
“Hold on a second,” I said, as I hung up on “Amazon Security.”
Here’s one reason to love cell phones: They show the caller and the number. This one did not say “Amazon Security,” but even if it did, that doesn’t mean it is really Amazon. The ID can be faked.
I hit the “recall” button to return the call to “Amazon Security.”
No such number, Verizon told me.
A scam, as I suspected. I regretted not having played along to see how they would attempt to pry my private info out of me, as I have in the past. But I was not in the mood.
I was in the mood a few years back and played along with someone from the “sheriff’s office,” who told me — in broken English — to send a money order or they would turn my “case over to the FBI.”
It may be hard to believe, but some people get panicked into sending money, even when they have done nothing wrong. The scammers, we are told, “target the elderly.” Hell — I’m elderly, but I’m not simple. Well, some are, I guess (as are some Millennials).
In 2013, I did a column on a woman who got a call from “Microsoft tech support,” which wasn’t from Microsoft, which doesn’t call people about problems they may be having with their Microsoft programs.
More money has been stolen by thieves with phones than thieves with guns. Phone scams are everywhere. Here’s a warning from the government. There are some helpful tips here.
I can’t say every call you get from security is a scam. I have received calls from my credit card companies, checking to see if a recent purchase was actually made by me.
I can say you should never give any personal information — not ID numbers, not Social Security, not your address — nothing. If they are legit, they already have that information.
Scams often increase around the holidays, so beware.
If unsure if the call is legit, hang up. You’ll be right 99% of the time.