Phishing Scam Targets Colorado Cell Phone Users

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Identity Theft and Fraud Unit warns the public of a scam targeting Colorado cell phone users.

A robo-call (automated voice) claims to be with your cell phone carrier or a financial institution and indicates your account has been compromised. The caller prompts potential victims to verify credit card information by having the customer press “1” to initiate the process. The caller will ask for your full credit card number, expiration date and security code as well as billing phone number, address and four-digit PIN.

What’s different in this scam is that an actual phone number displays on the caller ID; not one that has been blocked or is not listed. The origin of the phone number used for the robo call is an actual phone number that was hijacked as a part of the scam and links back to a business in Palo Alto, California. The business is not involved in the scam and is another victim of the scam artist’s attack.

The Palo Alto Police Department has received more than 400 calls from Colorado residents about the scam in recent days.

“If you receive a call as part of the scam and hang up, you’ve done the right thing,” said CBI Agent-in- Charge, Ralph Gagliardi. “Police are aware of this scam and are tracking the information, so the only calls to police should be if you’ve been a victim of this scam by providing your credit card information.”
CBI offers some general tips to keep your accounts and identity safe.
  • Never give out your credit card, financial information or personal information over the phone, especially to someone you do not know, and never give out your PIN to anyone
  • If you have concerns about your credit card account or your cell phone account, call the company using the phone number on your credit card, your phone bill or your carrier’s customer service line.
  • If you receive one of these calls, don’t provide any information. HANG UP!
  • If you’ve inadvertently provided your credit card information to a scammer, report it to your LOCAL police department.