Lynette Veit: Greene Publishing, Inc.
Here we go again. The scammers have come up with another one. This time, whoever it is, is calling herself “Dealer Services.”
Several local residents have gotten calls on their cell phones from this “Dealer Services.” The woman calling wants to let you know that the extended warranty on your vehicle is about to expire and Dealer Services wants to help you out. If you ask her which vehicle (yours or your spouse's, for example), you get a variation on her pitch that doesn't answer your question. If you try to pin her down on “which dealership” she's representing (Toyota? Ford?) she gives the same pitch again, or becomes angry and hangs up.
If she doesn't reach you, she leaves you a voicemail message to call back, and if you do manage to get through to a working number, it's either a recording with just enough window dressing to sound legitimate (“If you would like to be placed on the 'Do Not Call' list, Press 3”), or you get the voice mailbox of another unfortunate woman whose number the scammer is spoofing on your phone. The poor woman whose number has been spoofed has fielded some angry voice mail messages from other folks who think she is the annoying scammer. She has contacted several of the angry callers, identified herself and explained that the number they see on their phones is her number, but she is not the one calling them; the scammer is spoofing her number, making it appear on their Caller ID.
The scam most likely is trying to sell you a fraudulent warranty for your vehicle, or something similar, which of course, you have to pay for with your credit card, and voila, this scammer now has your credit card number. If the scammer wants you to wire the money, or send a money order, or get a pre-paid debit card, that's a major red flag that this is a scam.
If you receive such a call, hang up and contact the police or sheriff's department. Do not, under any circumstances, give out your credit card number to an unknown caller. If you believe there might be an issue with your vehicle's warranty, or if you just want to check, contact the dealership where you purchased your vehicle and speak to their customer service department directly.
It is also worth having some conversations with your friends and neighbors to let them know what is going on. These fraudsters stay busy coming up with new ideas to swindle people. If you receive a scam phone call, or know of one that is making the rounds among your friend and neighbors, contact Greene Publishing, Inc. at (850) 973-4141. We'll run a Scam Alert about it to get the information out to our readers.