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Don’t Fall For It: Scammers spoof numbers, pose as big companies to steal info, money

Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 3:50 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Seventy-eight-year-old Pat Castillo has had enough. She knows calls from “Amazon” she receives aren’t really from the company. She knows because she doesn’t shop through Amazon and furthermore, she knows exactly what the callers are trying to do.

“What they want is to get all the information they can from me,” she said. “My name, my age, my address, all that kind of stuff.”

With the scam targeting Castillo and many others, the call uses spoofed or fake phone numbers so tracking them down is next to impossible. Castillo is correct in that what the callers are trying to do is get information to steal her identity and her money.

A similar approach with a fake number involving the use of a real company’s name comes with a text message claiming to be from Whole Foods. The message claims to be part of a project by the company to help you make some extra money if you’ve been hit financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. The text claims that Whole Foods will pay you an extra $400 per week to be a store evaluator.

The Better Business Bureau says. clicking on the link provided in the text message may download malware on your phone to steal your information. If you do receive a check, the BBB warns it’ll bounce and you’ll be stuck paying for it. That’s only after the sender convinces you to purchase gift cards and give them access to codes which they’ll use to drain the cards of the money you paid for them. The sender then disappears.

If you receive a text message from Whole Foods, don’t reply to it and don’t click on the link provided with it. If you get an unexpected call from someone asking for personal information, just do what Castillo does.

“I don’t give any information out. It’s none of their (expletive) business and I tell them, ‘don’t call me again.'”

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