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Fast action saves the day

A scammer badgered a Parkland woman into giving him her bank account number, but she quickly realized her mistake and took measures to protect her money.

“Georgia” received a phone call at 11:08 Monday. The man on the other end said he had information about her that he needed to check out.

“He said that he needed to verify the information in order for me to get a new medical card that I would use with my Medicare card or my Humana card,” she related. “He got so belligerent with me. He kept saying, ‘If you don’t give me this information you won’t get any more Social Security checks.”

The man would not tell her the name of his company. He said the card was a supplemental insurance card that he wanted to send her for her use.

He even transferred her to someone who “verified” his authenticity. At times, Georgia thought he was on the level, but his persistence made her uncomfortable.

He gave her the routing number to US Bank, and told her he needed her account number.

When she told him her account number was personal, he argued with her that it was not.

“He made me so mad and he kept badgering me,” she said. “I kept saying, ‘I don’t understand. Why do I need this?’ He said, ‘Ma’am, I just told you. You need your Social Security checks, don’t you?

“He kept on and on. Finally, I gave him my account number.”

Georgia immediately realized she had made a mistake. When she got off the phone with the man, she called her husband and told him what had happened.

“How soon can you meet me at the bank?” she asked him.

When they went to the bank, the couple not only had to close the account and open a new one, they had to make arrangements to change their automatic deposits and payments to the new account.

“I was crying, I was all upset,” Georgia said. “The lady at the bank was a godsend. She helped us go through the account. It took about three hours.”

Luckily, Georgia reacted quickly, and the scammer did not get any money out of her account. However, he could use that information to create fraudulent checks that appear real. Although Georgia and her husband will not be held accountable, the scammer will surely try to victimize someone else.

Scammers use all kinds of tricks to get information from unwilling victims. In this case, his persistence paid off. Next time Georgia gets one of these calls, she has several options. She can hang up; try to get a company name to call them back after finding the company’s phone number from a legitimate source; or monitor calls through her answering machine and refuse to pick up suspicious phone calls.

Readers, have you had the same thing happen to you? Please share your story in the comments section of this story.

The Daily Journal has made a commitment to keep readers abreast of scams that hit our area. If someone tries to make you the victim of a scam, submit details at (click on the Scam logo) or call us at 431-2010 and tell us what happened.

We will try to include your story in our scam alert series to prepare others who may find themselves in the same situation. The Daily Journal will run Scam Alert stories in the Weekend paper.

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