Morrisey warns of new 'profiling' telephone scam - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Morrisey warns of new 'profiling' telephone scam

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Scammers are trying to "profile" consumers to set them up for future scams, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warns.

Morrisey is urging West Virginians to be aware of the unique scam, in which callers inform consumers that they are eligible for an available, unclaimed prize or lottery. Then, the scammers ask the consumers to pick some numbers in order to see if they have won.

Later, the scammer calls back to let the consumers know they have won the lottery prize. However, instead of asking for money or private banking information to cover taxes or fees associated with the prize, the scammers instead build "profiles" of the citizens by asking them general financial questions.
Morrisey said, as usual, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it is.

"Once again, scammers are finding a new, deceptive way to gather information on local consumers so they may scam them later on," Morrisey said. "In these instances, callers do not ask for money or personal information, rather they ask more general questions about the consumer's financial history, such as recent purchases, loans, or investments.

"Our Office always urges consumers to do their homework before ever surrendering any personal information to callers or people online."

Morrisey said consumers should be alerted when they receive a random call about a too-good-to-be-true prize or a sweepstakes they don't remember entering.

"Even though the typical red flags are not obvious in this type of scam, these callers may be trying to pry information from honest West Virginians in order to take advantage of them later," he said.
Anyone receiving a profiling call or those who feel they may have been victimized by a scam should call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808.