Northwest Iowa — The scams just keep appearing in northwest Iowa. We’ve heard of three recent ones in the area.
The Storm Lake Police Department advises that they recently received a report of someone scamming people while claiming to be with Verizon Wireless. They tell us that officers were told the victim received a call from 1-800-294-6804. The caller claimed to be with Verizon and needed the PIN for the account to reactivate the account.
The victim then began to receive information about phones that were being purchased on the account without authorization. Storm Lake Police say that Verizon has confirmed the number is not associated with them in any way. Officers are encouraging people not to give out personal information over the phone.
In the same city, the Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office is reporting a recent scam from someone claiming to be with the IRS. The email says that the taxpayer is eligible to receive a tax refund, and then states that the person needs to fill out their personal information or they won’t get their refund. There are some grammar and usage indications that the email is not from the United States. And the sheriff’s office says indeed, this is not from the IRS. They advise people to be aware, and not to send out personal information.
The third report of a scam came from a KIWA listener. They stated that their bank account had some very small charges on it. They asked their bank about it. The bank told us that while this is a fairly rare event, it does happen. They say they believe that the charges are made when someone is trying to determine if it is an active account. It is assumed that if the scammer finds out that it is active, that they will attempt to make purchases on the account. The bank employee says they usually close the account in this case and open a new one with a new number. While we were told that it is a fairly rare occurrence — since it’s easy to access your account activity online — it might not be a bad idea to check it occasionally, and call your bank if there are any charges you don’t recognize.