SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – You may be blissfully unaware because you have not been scammed but this is National Consumer Protection Week. The number of scams seems to be growing every month and the amount of money lost is in the tens of millions.
“You would have thought it was the power company,” Ray Kaczorowski from Savannah told WSAV News 3 as we discussed a phone call he received Monday.
He says his caller ID indicated it was Georgia Power on the line but when he called back a number he was instructed to call he realized it was a scam.
“They wanted me to go to a grocery store and get an instant money card and then send them about $300,” Kaczorowski said.
Whether it’s this scam or the IRS scam or the jury duty scam or the Grandparent’s scam or a new round of text message scams that involve clicking on links regarding “tracking your package,” the point is always the same: get you to pay strangers somewhere money.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr says “scammers are always looking for ways to defraud consumers and it’s the job of his office to protect those consumers.”
Don’t provide personal information, including Social Security number or credit or debit card numbers to any caller or to anyone who sends you a text.
The same goes for an email you may receive. Never click on links in emails when you don’t truly know who sent it.
All scams ask for money to be provided in quick untraceable ways like instant money cards or even via Western Union.
Scammers often try to scare people into giving money by saying you may be arrested for not paying taxes or not showing up for jury duty.
In Kaczorowski’s case, he was told his power would be cut off within 30 minutes if he didn’t pay up. He didn’t take the bait and called Georgia Power.
He was told immediately this was a scam.
Then Kaczorowski called back the scammer.
“I told them they should be ashamed of themselves,” he said. “I can’t believe that people sleep at night trying to pull these scams on older people you know and it isn’t just older people I suppose they could pull it on anybody that would fall for it.”