Con men continue to try their fraud - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Con men continue to try their fraud

Posted: Updated:

February 12, 2008


Tifton -- For the eighth year in a row, the Federal Trade Commission says identity theft is the most frequent consumer crime complaint.

The Feds say nearly 23,000 people become victims of identity fraud every day, and South Georgians are reporting a number of scams trying to steal their identity and personal information.  

Sharon Barricklow of Colquitt County said her mother had a close call with a Scam artist. "Told me she had done something stupid," Barricklow said.

Barricklow's Mother got a telephone call claiming to be from Medicare, and ordered her to give them her bank account numbers.

"'If you don't do this, we are going to drop your Medicare Insurance,'" was what the called said to Barricklow's mom.

Her frightened mother gave them the account number, but quickly realized she had made a mistake, and called the bank right away.

The caller was very convincing, and then very forceful, and scared her mother. A close call, but Barricklow said she knows others need to be warned, and not be embarrassed to report Identity Theft crimes.

"Maybe look stupid. Don't worry about that, call whoever you need to call."

Tom Davis got an E-Mail on his computer claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, but knew immediately it was a fake.

"Didn't fool me a bit," Davis said "The I.R.S. does not work like that."

The Minister of Morningside United Methodist Church in Albany, Davis has done his own taxes for years, and knew this was a con. Notice the e-mail address is irs.org. The real I.R.S. Address is dot-gov. The E-mail claimed that he was due a refund of more than $873, and all he had to do was click and give them his bank information numbers.

 "I wonder how many other folks could be fooled," Davis said.

The real I.R.S. Is warning taxpayers that this scam is going across the country now. If you give them your bank account numbers they will drain your account, open credit cards and run up huge bills, take out loans, and even file fraudulent tax returns-- ruining your good credit name.

 "I just want to help others, be sure before someone else makes a mistake," Davis said.

Davis said he might even preach a sermon Sunday warning his congregation about the danger of Scams.

The Federal Trade Commission says there are some effective ways to protect yourself from Identify theft.

  • Never give anyone you don't know your credit card or bank account numbers
  • Use a paper shredder to destroy all documents with your personal information
  • Use a locked mailbox
  • Check your credit report for fraudulent activity

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