Busy Office Workers Targeted in New Credit Card Fraud
A new kind of credit card fraud is targeting busy office workers who are being told that they are in trouble with the law for missing jury duty.
The scheme was finally busted by Wisconsin authorities, but not before Joseph Dees and Courtney McFeater had racked up over $270,000 in fraudulent purchases.
Dees and McFeater would perform internet searches for office workers in busy doctor’s or real estate offices. They would call those workers and say that they had missed jury duty. After a series of questions trying to “resolve” this failure to come to court, the criminals would acquire key personal information, including names, phone numbers, social security numbers and mother’s maiden names.
With that vital information, the criminals were able to get new credit cards sent to their address. Then, they would charge various transactions on the cards until those cards were cancelled.
Regarding Dees’ technique with his victims, U.S. Postal worker Brian Plants said, “He was very convincing, and very calm and if they didn’t want to give out their information, he would somehow keep them talking and convince them to give out personal information on the phone.”
The suspects pleaded guilty in court, and now they face a sentence of up to six years in jail. In total, their criminal activities affected more than 50 people.
To avoid similar issues in your own life, never give out personal information on the phone to someone who has called you–you need to be the one initiating any call. Be cautious about the people you speak with at all times, and your credit cards will hopefully be protected.