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Three new identity theft scams happening right now

Three new identity theft scams happening right now

(Internet Safety, Scams, Identity Theft) Permanent link

Identity thieves keep hatching new ways to trick folks into revealing personal information. Here are three new twists on telemarketing and e-mail fraud occuring in our state this week.

Tax Rebate Scam: Moments after President Bush’s tax rebate was announced, a reporter told us that Kent man received a phone call from someone asking for his bank account information so that the government could direct-deposit his rebate check. Each year, the Internal Revenue Service warns workers about various forms of fraud including phony e-mails which claim to come from the IRS. You can report e-mail phishing scams (like this one we blogged about last month) and telephone scams to the IRS at

Military Spouses Targeted: The BBB warned that a caller claiming to represent the Red Cross informs military spouses that their husband or wife has been injured while on duty in Iraq and has been med-evacuated to a German hospital. The caller then claims that in order to start medical treatment, the spouse must provide correct identification of their enlisted family member including a Social Security number and birth date.

Spanish-Language Smishing Text Messages: On the East Side of the state, the BBB issued an alert about an elderly woman in Yakima who received a Spanish-language text message on her cell phone asking her to contact someone ASAP. When the woman called, a con told her she had won something, and began asking for personal information to confirm her identity. Fortunately, the woman’s daughter sensed this was a scam and intercepted the conversation. This type of scam is called  “smishing,” a term that combines  e-mail “phishing” with Short Message Service (SMS), the technology used to transmit text messages over cellular devices. Smishing messages sent to mobile phones often contain links to Web sites where victims are prompted to enter personal information or download dangerous software.

Never provide personal information to an unsolicited caller or in response to an e-mail.

Posted by AGO Blog Moderator at 02/01/2008 04:34:39 PM | 

Have you heard of yet a cam from someone saying they are from the london UK, and are targeting people looking for a room mate? So they get your adress send you a check for deposit and rent for a month, but in turn once you recieve the check , they write you an email saying I cant get a flight out because my flight money was in the check. So they want you to cash it, send a money order back to them for their suggested "flight fare" and what happens......they get off, you get such with fruad having to pay back the amount in wich you thought you received. Because they are actually robing a third party. ya i think this is hapening to me but i am to smart to go cash it walk with the money and send her the remaining. have you heard of this yet???? All coming from Ontario
Posted by: christina ( Email ) at 1/2/2009 3:19 PM

Hello Christina,

Thank you for your comment to All Consuming. Yes, I have heard of the scam you mention. It’s one of many versions of a wire transfer scam. However, instead of cashing the check, consumers should destroy it or turn it into law enforcement. The check is most likely a counterfeit and will bounce. It may also be stolen and written on a victim’s account.

Knowingly cashing a fraudulent or suspected counterfeit check is a crime.


Posted by: Kristin Alexander ( Email ) at 1/7/2009 12:24 PM

I Just received a call on my CELL from "Red Cross " He knew my 1st name I asked where he got my #> QUOTE > from your MONTHLY donations form to the Red Cross> NOT ME! I do not do monthly donations & I do not give my Cell # to any organization. My cell is private & emergency use ONLY>>I think the Red Cross needs to know of this scam. I told him he made a dishonest call & hung up.
Posted by: R. McAlister ( Email ) at 3/5/2012 9:32 AM

Received autmated call from 1-877-675-9553 claiming to be from the Barclay Security Group warning me of potential fraud for a Master Card World card. I do not have a MC for this organization. I contacted the number left on my voice message and the autmated system will not allow me to talk with anyone unless I enter the card number. The voice mail gave a secondary telephone number of 1302-255-8888. Calling this number resulted in another automated system which either required a social security number of a credit card number.
Posted by: Liza Rohrer ( Email ) at 7/25/2014 9:14 AM

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