Man Scammed Out of $20,000 Over the Phone

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An elderly Darien man contacted through a pop-up virus in his computer received a message that instructed him to call a phone number to fix a virus in his computer, police were told on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Police said:

When the man called the number, he was told his American Express card information had been compromised and, in order to prevent fraudulent use of his card, he should spend all the available credit on it by buying gift cards from Target and Walmart.

The man bought a number of gift cards for a total of $20,000, then provided the suspect with the access codes on the back of the cards. Then the victim lost all that money.

As of Monday, police were still investigating the matter.

One Easy-to-Remember Way to Avoid Scams Like This

The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information blog said on Dec. 11:

  • Remember that gift cards are for gifts, not payments. Gift cards are a scammer’s favorite way to steal people’s money. Anyone who demands that you pay them with a gift card, for any reason, is always a scammer.

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