Steady Brook woman wants oth­ers to be wary of scam calls

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - News - BY DIANE CROCKER [email protected]­ern­star.com

Ch­eryl Hux­ter is pretty care­ful when it comes to an­swer­ing 1-800 and other strange num­bers that come up on her phone.

But when the Steady Brook woman’s phone rang at her cabin around 8:30 a.m. on Wed­nes­day she didn’t hes­i­tate to an­swer it. The num­ber was from Bri­tish Columbia and with fam­ily there it only made sense to an­swer.

The caller wasn’t a fam­ily mem­ber, but rather an au­to­mated mes­sage telling her there had been two ques­tion­able charges made us­ing her Visa card, start­ing with num­bers 4, 5 — $300 for Pay­Pal and $1,000 for iTunes.

Be­cause it said the first two num­bers of her ac­count Hux­ter im­me­di­ately thought it was re­ally hers, un­til she re­al­ized those num­bers are stan­dard on a lot of cards.

The mes­sage said Visa knows she doesn’t nor­mally shop at the two busi­nesses, so the charges might not be le­git­i­mate, and her card would have to be blocked and a new one is­sued.

She was then given the op­tion to press 1 if the charges were le­git­i­mate or 2 if they were fraud­u­lent. If no choice was made she’d be con­nected to a ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

“It sounded very le­git­i­mate, es­pe­cially when it comes be­fore you’ve got your eyes hardly open.”

Hux­ter let the call play out, but was con­fi­dent by then that it was a scam, so when the rep­re­sen­ta­tive came on asked for her name and ad­dress she stopped the call and told him she’d call Visa her­self. She did re­port the call to the credit card com­pany.

Hux­ter called The Western Star to share what hap­pened so that other peo­ple could be warned about the scam. Even with so many hap­pen­ing th­ese days the re­minder doesn’t hurt as she knows of peo­ple who have lost money through sim­i­lar scams.

“I would hate to see some­body else lose a lot of money.

“This was a Visa scam that was pretty so­phis­ti­cated.”

J. R. ROY / SPE­CIAL TO THE GULF NEWS

RCMP ve­hi­cle.

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