The Better Business Bureau has issued an alert concerning a phone-fraud scam being aimed at residents of Thurston County.
“Olympia and Lacey residents have reported suspicious phone calls from an alleged business trying to collect credit card numbers and personal identification numbers — allegedly for verification purposes,” the bureau reported Monday.
The caller identifies the business as “Evergreen.”
If you get the call, don’t respond. Do not give credit-card information out to persons unknown to you.
The suspicious calls, the bureau said, derive from the 502 area code number. The actual number belongs to an unrelated Kentucky-based business, which is accredited by the BBB.
The bureau is investigating the origin of the unidentified caller.
Here are some tips about such schemes:
• Be wary of requests to “verify” information, especially if the caller is claiming affiliation with a well-known business or government agency.
• Never give out credit card information or Social Security numbers to unknown or unsolicited requests.
• If interested in making a purchase over the phone, verify authenticity. Request the caller’s name, company name, address, and phone number; inform them that you will contact them if interested. If the representative refuses to give out basic company information, don’t bother.
• Research the company name on the Internet. Be skeptical if negative results show up; make sure the company information provided matches with what’s posted online.
• Check on www.bbb.org for a BBB Reliability Report.
• Contact the company using contact information found on their official website or in a public directory. Do not rely on the information the caller provided. When contacting the company, confirm that the call received was legitimate; verify that the solicitor is a valid employee and that the call actually came from the company. Get written materials or agreements before making purchases over the phone.