I have a public service announcement for all of you today. This is serious. Not a joke. Not me being sarcastic. I wanted to put this out there, so that you all know about another really awful phone scam that is going around, so that you don’t freak out like I did, and you can keep you and your money safe.
This week, my wife and I both received calls from a person claiming to work for “Process Service Dispatch”. The call comes in as an “UNKNOWN” phone number on caller ID. This person claims that they are trying to reach you to confirm your personal information so that you can be served with a summons. They provide only a phone number and a “case number” that you need to call and inquire about. When I got this call on Tuesday, I FREAKED OUT!!!
My wife and I have both done our research on this call, and it is indeed a scam. Apparently these folks try to get you to call the number back, and you are then told that you have a Wells Fargo Bank or Credit Card account that is in default and that you are being sued for some ridiculously small amount (around $1000). The person on the other end of the call then proceeds to tell you that you can settle the debt immediately, at a lower amount, if you will provide a credit card or debit card number. This is a SCAM!!!!!
If you get one of these calls, don’t freak out. We suggest giving the caller a really hard time. Ask a lot of questions about who is suing you, where they are located, a physical address for their location, the court the complaint is filed in, the full name of the caller, their license number (in many states Process Servers must have a license), the name of the law firm filing the complaint, etc… They won’t be able to answer a single question, and will have every excuse under the sun why they can’t answer your question. Why? Because this is a scam. Let the caller know that you understand their “call” is a scam, ask them to remove your number from their system and then inform them that you will be filing complaints with the proper authorities.
What is really scary with this scam is that they have ALL of your personal information, including SSN, address, phone numbers, family phone numbers, age, DOB, EVERYTHING. The Wells Fargo accounts that they reference ARE REAL. They may be your existing bank account, or they may be one that you had at one time and closed.
To protect yourself from this scam:
1. Don’t call them back. They are really horrible, mean people.
2. Report the call to your local authorities (police, sheriff, etc).
3. File a complaint with the FTC and your state Attorney General.
4. Call your bank or credit card and let them know about the fraudulent call.
A few other points to remember…
1. Process servers very, very, very rarely will call first. They know where you are, what your address is, and they will just show up.
2. Lawsuits settle under a specific process, if you are being sued, setting over the phone with a credit card or debit card is NEVER an option.
3. Don’t ever give out your credit card information if you don’t know who you are giving it to.
4. Be your advocate, check your credit report regularly to insure that no one is stealing your identity.
Thanks for the time folks. Sorry for the long post. I just want you all to be safe and sound!