FRAUD BY PHONE

Fraud by phone

This Saturday morning we got a strange phone call.  I saw an area code that did not appear to be of anyone I know, “331”, my husband answer the phone and this is what happened… 

Hello

Hi Joel, this is your aunt from the east coast.  You remember me? I’m your aunt.

Oh, yes Aunt Mary?

– Hi, I am Mary how are you, I am visiting your area, are you still living in Good View? 425 Short Lane?

Yes we are here.

– I am visiting a town close by and will be in the area today.  I don’t have a car with me, so please answer the phone when I call you so you can show me around this afternoon.  Please give me your phone number.

– Don’t you have it there in your phone?

– Please my dear nephew give me the phone I don’t have any time right now and I will call you later, please hurry up and give me phone number I have to leave right now.

– Ok, my number is 111-1111

– Ok, hope to see you this afternoon, please be there remember I don’t have a car and I really need your help my dear nephew.

– Ok, see you later.

My husband answer the phone started having this conversation and felt something strange about it; halfway through he put the phone on speaker so I can listen.  Somehow everything happened so fast and it caught me totally of guard, that we gave them our phone number and confirmed our address.  As soon as we hang up the phone we felt something was wrong.  I got so scared and said they are probably trying to steal your identity, so I rushed to take a shower while my husband called his aunt in the east coast and confirmed that he had just talked to a stranger.

We left the house and went to the bank and changed our ATM cards, while at the bank we talk to the customer service representative and they did not seem to care for our concern.  They gave us good service with regards to changing our cards but they did stop any payments coming from our cards.  They just said this is all that we will do and you have to monitor your statements and if you see anything strange you have to come back and call us.  I was wondering, then why are we here right now?  Don’t I pay fees to the bank so they keep my money safe?  Well I guess the joke was on me, don’t expect the banks to be held accountable for keeping your money safe.  The only good thing was that our account had no additional charges.

We drove back home feeling a little bit more comfortable, feeling we had done a good job trying to be safe.  When we got back home we double checked the bank account and added additional email notifications.  One of the things I noticed, I had done this before and I used to receive this notifications.  Now that I was reviewing my notifications again I noticed that they had all been turned off.  So remember to go check your notifications and double-check they are still active.  I think that my bank change the notifications policy and erased all the things I had set up.  I do not remember being notified about it.  Once at the house we were feeling a little bit better and getting back to our normal mode and then the phone rings.  I looked at the phone on top of the coffee table and see the same number that called us this morning.  I look at my husband and said is them, you answer.  My husband gets up from the desk walks to pick up the phone and hears his supposed Aunt happily saying “Hello, this is your Aunt Mary”, my husband responds you’re not my Aunt, I checked, and you are not her, the voice on the other side of the phone turned into a male voice, started cursing and then my husband hung up the phone.  Great! Just when we were starting to relax.

After the second phone call, we got a little concern I wondered if this people where outside of the house.  My husband goes and looks through the windows and he doesn’t see anything out of the ordinary.  We decided to call our police department, the dispatcher said that they could not do anything; she did not seem concern about our incident.  My husband proceeded to explain that this people have our address, phone number, name and already called twice.  I agree that it might not be a crime, but I was hoping that the police department was also working on preventing crime; it seems this is not the case.  Somehow I found it hard to believe that we are first people to receive this type of phone call.  The final response we got from the dispatcher was to call 911 when they get to the house, I’m glad that did not happen, but somehow it does not seem rational.  My parents drop by this afternoon and they said that this type of crime is very common, they said it is usually only by phone and this people are located far from the area they’re calling.  They usually call to ask for a wire transfer or something similar.  After all that we went to Loews and got an additional lock for our front door I think I was just looking for a piece of mind (my husband already put the lock).

Keep your eye open for phone number (331) 076-8046, by the way this Verizon number has been disconnected and the Area code is somewhere in IL.

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