As we know, when it comes to thinking of innovative ways to rinse you of your money, scammers are tireless; and as rhyme would have it, one of the big schemes reported on tellows.com at the moment involves spoofing Verizon Wireless.
Positive adjectives where positive adjectives are due, this is quite a sophisticated scam. Here’s a quick run-through of how it’s set up…
1) You’ll get a call from Verizon. (Read: Not Verizon.)
2) The automated voice will inform you that you are owed an obscure amount of money (usually amounting to a couple of hundred dollars) as a bill rebate and instruct you to log in at www.vzw***.com (*** being the 3-digit figure you’re supposedly owed) to collect it.
3) You enthusiastically hop online and go to the web address provided, which will look, incidentally, EXACTLY like Verizon’s own site.
4) You happily tap in your log-in credentials, hit Enter, and bish bash bosh, the scammers have your vital account details.
Bonnie was called from 8006001228 and gives us a clue what happens next…
Message said to log into www.vzw81.com to receive $81 off my next bill. I had just got the phones, so I went there and created an account (since I had not yet). A few hours later, my phone is suspended. I called verizon, and they informed me that it is a new scam. They get your login info and then they activate Blackberrys for international calls. I am now sitting on hold with the fraud dept to get my phone unsuspended (only been 1.5 hours so far) .. ugh
Fortunately, Verizon is aware of the scam, but it sadly doesn’t mean that they are able to stop it. The perpetrators are also spoofing 8009220204, a number that actually belongs to Verizon, to complete the picture of authenticity. However, it’s worth being aware that this is a number that Verizon doesn’t actually use to make outgoing calls.
Luckily for some, like all dirty dealers, they’re not always top of their game. Following a call from 8006006358, ‘Duh’ offers the following testimonial:
They have called me several times telling me I have a $331 credit to my account. Only problem is, I don’t have a Verizon account. Maybe they will just send me the cash. Should be close to 10 grand by now.
Well, noone’s perfect. A fraud ring was recently arrested for the self-same scam – this was a momentary triumph, but the Verizon gig seems to be such an attractive technique to fraudsters that somebody is still out there conning people out of their hard earned dimes. As always, we urge you to second-guess unexpected or unlikely-sounding phonecalls or emails and always contact the company directly if you’re unsure about anything at all. Keep reporting your experiences with unknown numbers on tellows and help the online community in the struggle against telephone torment!
Well then, boys and girls. As a closing note, we’d like to leave you with these summative words from ‘Complaint’.
8008889599 IS NOT VERIZON WIRELESS. The pre-recorded voice instructs you to visit www.vzw625.com to collect a $625 bill credit. DO NOT visit this website, it is a scam. This is not verizon wireless.
In case you didn’t catch that, these numbers are NOT Verizon Wireless.
‘Til next time…
Your tellows team