BREAKING NEWS on the latest Verizon 28 Fraud Scheme: Heather Wagenhals, host of Unlock Your Wealth Radio, helps others avoid fraud but recently she was taken for granted receiving a phishing scam phone call from Verizon Wireless. The Verizon 28 Phone Scam offered Heather $28 by visiting the website www.verizon28.com and claiming her free money. As an expert in the financial industry and Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist, Heather knew there was nothing free about this phone call, which made her take an extra step and dig deeper into this potential Verizon fraud scheme.
Here is a recap of the phone call claiming to be an automated Verizon employee offering free money:
Automated voice recorder: Congratulations! You are a very lucky winner! As a Verizon Wireless customer you have been selected to receive $28 as a courtesy of being a loyal customer. Go to www.verizon28.com to claim your money by entering your username and password.
Fun fact: Heather is NOT even a Verizon Wireless customer.
After receiving this phone scam Heather immediately went to the site to research the scam first hand. Upon searching through the fake Verizon website Heather verified every other link on this site directed her back to the real Verizon website, however the link to claim her $28 did not direct her to an authorized Verizon site, rather it lead her right to the scammers where she was to fill out personal information.
Heather took immediate action and called Verizon Wireless.
Here is the conversation with Juan, phone operator with Verizon Wireless:
Heather: I believe I am a potential victim of fraud, I just received an automated phone call saying I could receive $28 by going to www.verizon28.com, however I am not even a customer of Verizon. (she continues the conversation by recapping the fake Verizon call to the operator).Verizon Operator: We don’t make any outward promotional calls. We only do promotions through My Verizon account or through emails.Heather Wagenhals: Can you even login to the site to confirm this is not coming from actual Verizon Wireless?
Verizon Operator- I just clicked the site myself and we are not allowed access to this site, blocking me from even opening the website.
After reaching this part in her investigation, Heather decided to call back the number, 1.800.922.0000 to confirm this scam once again. This is what she heard:
Thank you for calling the The Nebraska Medical Center,To find a position, get class information or hospital services information, please Press 1If you are a current Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska patient…, please Press 2If you are calling in regards to a Verizon wireless service, created or gift promotion please Press 3 (pressing 3…) Please be advised that this number is not associated with Verizon Wireless services and does not connect you to a Verizon representative. If you feel you have reached this number in error please contact your local Verizon store.
To avoid falling for an accidental phishing scam take the following steps when receiving one of these calls:
1. Whether automated attendant or human being on the phone, decline to offer any information, just thank them for the call and get off the phone.
2. Confirm that your credit card or account details is in your possession.
3. Immediately call the number on the back of the card. Report to them what specifically transpired and confirm that no activity has occurred on your account without your knowledge.
4. Give them as many details as possible such as name and customer service number if a live person, caller ID phone number if available, and specifically what they asked you to do. (In my efforts to retrieve the number without my glasses on, I accidentally conference called them in so the customer service professional heard everything and was shocked!)
5. Always remember to be courteous and never give your information out over the phone on a call you did not initiate.
Taking these steps will help to reduce your exposure to credit card fraud. If we do not take responsibility and be proactive, in the end, it raises all of our costs as the banks pass this on in the form of higher interest rates to overcome the amount of fraud its consumers experience.