Scam alert: Phone and email scams in our area

The iPhone 5S and 5C have been in stores for less than two weeks but scammers have wasted no time working on ways to take people’s money by using the product as a lure.

Three people reported receiving an email telling them they have an order for the iPhone 5S or Samsung Galaxy S4 “processing.”

The email informs the recipient their order for a new phone is being processed and in order to reserve the device they should confirm their order number. According to the Better Business Bureau the order number given on the emails has been: HY739K, but that number could change in the future.

It asks recipeints to click on a linked address to reserve and confirm their order, but the Better Business Bureau warns people to not click on the link.

“All they're going to want to do is sell you something or tell you you've won something and that you need to pay for it, you might have some fees to pay and use a Greendot money card which is the same as cash,” said Dreama Jensen from the Better Business Bureau, “Or they're going to tell you they're going to deliver the phones to you, but, there is a fee to pay so could you give us your credit card number and take care of those fees now.”

To make the emails appear authenticated they are signed by an individual claiming to be an account service manager with an email address.

The question to ask yourself should you receive an email like this is: Did I order this? Any online or over the phone purchases are usually followed by more detailed receipts.

Another scam in the area is a phone scam from a man, or men, claiming to be from the federal government and offering to refund people thousands of dollars.

If it sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is.

A Mishawaka woman called the Better Business Bureau after she received a suspicious call from a man named “Robert Smith” who claimed to work for the federal government out of Washington D.C. According to officials the caller uses common American names and often “broken American accents.”

The caller said the government has a surplus of money from tax refunds and needs to distribute it by the end of the year. In the case of the Mishawaka woman, the caller said he had $9,000 she could receive as long as she didn’t use the money for something illegal like drugs or alcohol.

After asking where she would use the money the caller asked for the name of her bank and bank account number.

This isn’t the first time the Better Business Bureau has received calls of this nature, but Jensen said the bottom line is people should never give out credit information over the phone to unverified sources.

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