This news item expired on Friday, January 31, 2014 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
Crooks often pretend to be someone they aren’t to get you to lower your guard. Scammers have been known to claim to be government officials, your bank, your insurance or power company, law officers, lottery officials, or even your grandchild facing an emergency. All in an attempt to try to steal your personal information and your money.
Now scammers are pretending to be with the US Postal Service (USPS) and AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons.
An AARP member reported being contacted by someone who said he was collecting personal information from members because recent storms had wiped out the organization’s database. The call appeared to come from Washington, DC. The AARP member wisely hung up the phone.
In the case of the fake postal employee, the caller manipulated Caller ID technology to make it appear that the call had actually come from a USPS facility in California. The consumer picked up the phone and heard a recording encouraging him to apply for a lower credit card interest rate. Recognizing the call as a scam, the consumer did the right thing by hanging up.
Remember, legitimate organizations aren’t going to call you and ask for your personal information over the phone. If you get a suspicious phone call, don’t respond. Instead, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.