INDIANAPOLIS — Last week Beverly Rogers received a call from someone claiming to be AT&T, explaining a new deal they were offering that would lower her cable bill.
"He said it would be $60 a month for two years," Rogers said. A good deal, she thought.
"Our AT&T and DIRECTV bill is higher than that. So I thought, boy that would be a savings for us!" Rogers exclaimed.
Then things got suspicious.
The caller said they were partnering with eBay for this new offer, and Rogers would have to pay her bill using eBay gift cards. That's when Rogers said no and hung up.
"With a wire transfer, and with gift cards, they can take that money and get out of the country very very quickly, and it's almost untraceable," Tim Maniscalo, Central Indiana Better Business Bureau CEO, said.
Maniscalo says requesting any form of special payment is the number one red flag in a scam. No legitimate company will do that.
However, Rogers isn't the only target for this kind of scheme.
Anyone can get scammed. If you're connected to the Internet, you're vulnerable. More scams are being made through the Internet, and that's why millennials — that's right millennials — are more likely to get scammed than senior citizens.
"Millennials use the Internet, they trust the Internet, and they put out a lot of information on the Internet. All of that is used against them," Maniscalo said.
More than 50,000 scams were reported in Indiana last year. The top five were:
- employment scams
- online purchase scams
- fake checks and fake money orders
- home improvement scams
- advance loan fees
And as these overseas operations continue to grow and target people here in the U.S., the BBB recommends hanging up and calling your utility company to verify before handing anyone over your money.
The top ten consumer complaints the attorney general's office has received so this year is:
1. Unwanted calls/phone scams
2. New and used auto sales and service
3. Home maintenance and construction
4. Online scams and sales
6. Identity Theft
7. Financial/credit services
8. Wireless phone and cable providers
10. Lending and Mortgage