Monday, November 1, 2010

Phone Scam Steals Millions from Elder American

A very big phone scam exploits the good name of the Make a Wish Foundation and it has siphoned over $20 million from unwary Americans and has been rising in recent months. Some of the authorities said it is speedy becoming one of the ugliest telemarketing schemes mainly to target the aged in years.

Many scammers pretending to be calling from government agencies as the Internal Revenue Service and the FDC (Federal Trade Commission) have put a new twist on an old defraud.

They were thrashing offshore, thousands of miles away, but they're using internet phone technology to masquerade their location.

Victims see a 202 area code on their phones when the calls come in. They dial apparently authentic U.S. phone numbers to call the scammers back. Unlike the standard telemarketing frauds, these weren't people hiding behind a phone number you couldn't call, a voice you couldn't re-erect.

These were people who left telephone numbers and would talk to you," said Paul Allvin, a vice president of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, who became alarmed when he started hearing from multiple victims a week about the fraudulent calls. Paul Allvin, a vice president of the Make-A-Wish Foundation said these were people who left telephone numbers and would talk to you.

One team of con artists spoke with Patricia Bowles, the owner of a Virginia modeling studio, almost every day for more than a month. Eventually, they had persuaded her to send more than $300,000 through Western Union and Moneygram in what she thought were luxury taxes and insurance fees on the $1.1 million prize they promised would be arriving any day.

Source: phone scam

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