Scammy scammers and their scammy scams
Believe it or not, there are still companies out there trying to sucker people out of their cash. We’ve seen people swipe information off the Internet and use it to swindle people out of their cash for years and you’d think their tactics would be common knowledge by now.
Sadly, that appears not to be the case. Those scammy rascals are still out there and making phone calls, and that suggests that people are still get ripped off by unscrupulous people using slimy tactics.
Earlier today, I got a call on my cell phone from a number that my caller ID said is located in Michigan. The caller offered a $3,000 gift card good at a number of stores including Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart. Ah, but there was more — a $500 grocery card was included in the deal and all they wanted was my credit card number to pay $4.95 for shipping and handling. I refused to give them anything and told them I wasn’t interested. That was at about noon today and the caller has tried to reach me three times since then.
I’m not quite sure how that caller got my phone number, but the caller had my email address, mailing address and everything it needed except for a credit card number. That’s more than a bit creepy.
When someone offers something that seems too good to be true, that’s when your favorite search engine becomes your best friend. The number at issue here is (601)980-2600 and running that through the Bing search engine turned up a couple of things that suggest the caller is a scammer. The first item was 11 pages of complaints at WhoCallsMe.com from people griping about bogus calls from that phone number.
The second was this article at WafflesAtNoon.com that expressly identifies the number as coming from some company called AIC Campaign. Evidently, that bunch is busily operating a national gift card scam, the ultimate goal of which is to get credit card information from people who think they’ve won a major surprise and only have to pay a little bit of cash to get it sent to them.
Was the AIC Campaign thing an absolute scam? That appears to be the case, but it’s impossible to say for sure unless you take the risk and turn over your credit card number in hopes of receiving a prize. However, based on the evidence surrounding a few minutes of research on that phone number, giving a credit card number — or any financial information — to that company seems quite risky.
Be careful out there and remember the old maxim — is something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here’s another thing to keep in mind — if you’ve won a legitimate prize, why should you have to pay a dime to receive it?
Update: I filed a complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division about the calls from the aforementioned phone number. In less than 24 hours (that’s pretty quick), I had a reply confirming that this, indeed, appears to be a scam.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.