Reader offers warning about phone scam

Published 2:17 pm Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dear Editor:

At noon today I answered the phone, and an apparently automated voice asked me to press one if this was Dixie Gallaspy — she was busy, so I did the pressing, and the voice said this is a security call from your credit card company. (I complied up to this point because we had a legitimate call from the credit card company several days ago, reporting the card’s misuse in New York — naturally neither Dixie nor I have ever spent a nickel in New York.)

The voice then said, “For security purposes we must have you confirm that we issued your card. Press one if it’s a Mastercard and two if it’s a Visa.” With some doubts I picked the right one, and then came the scam: “Punch in the correct number of your card.”

When I didn’t, the recorded message was repeated five or six times before I hung up.

The big danger in this is that the automation lulls a listener into thinking this is something official, for even pollsters are now using automated calls. And they could be calling everyone in Bogalusa at the same time!

– John W. Gallaspy