Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Anyone else get a call from a three-digit number today? I know of at least three of us at the Attorney General's Office who received strange calls on our personal cell phones.

An attorney answered a call this morning from "801" and heard a recorded message. The message said WaMu was calling to advise him that the bank had locked down his credit card, and to press 1 to be connected to the security department. No doubt a phishing attempt from a stupid scammer who doesn't realize that 1) the attorney doesn't have a WaMu card and 2) WaMu is now Chase.

Another co-worker received a call from "801" but didn't answer. My phone received a call from "109" at 1:16 p.m. today but I also didn't pick up. We have different service providers.

[UPDATE -- 3/9/11]:

More phishing robocalls reported today -- all mentioning WaMu accounts -- but some showing seven-digit numbers. One of our attorneys pressed "1" and received an identical recording asking him to press "1" to reactive the card. Curious, he did so and the recording asked for his 16-digit account number. "I hung up at that point," he said. "The recorded voices sounded like they were robotic voice emulations.  Good ones, but still not actual human voices."

Seven-digit numbers look more convincing. But if they're still posing as WaMu, those crooks aren't so savvy.

[UPDATE - 3/11/11]:

Many of you are writing and calling to report that you've received the same annoying calls, sometimes in the middle of the night. Just to manage expectations, my goal is to prevent you from being scammed. Our office doesn't have the authority to initiate a criminal investigation or prosecution. When it comes to tracking down and busting criminal fraudsters and those operating across state and national borders, federal enforcement agencies take the reigns. You can report call scams to the Federal Trade Commission.

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