Sheriff warns of possible cell phone upgrade scam

Sheriff warns of possible cell phone upgrade scam

LAFOURCHE PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre cautions residents about a possible scam involving cell phone service.

He says a caller from an 888 number told a Raceland resident he was eligible for an upgrade in his cell phone service.

Since the caller had the resident's cell phone account details, the resident believed it was a legitimate call. The sheriff says the resident then gave the caller part of his social security number.

After getting off the phone, the sheriff says the resident researched the number and realized it was a scam.

"This is the phone equivalent of an internet 'phishing' scam," said Sheriff Webre. "While navigating through websites or email, you may encounter a message or pop-up window that appears to be from a legitimate company asking for sensitive account information. The sole purpose is to steal your identity. This phone scam works the same way."

The sheriff says the goal of the calls isn't always identity theft. He says "slamming" occurs when a phone company illegally switches your phone service without your permission. In these cases, he says the victim receives a call from what seems to be their cell phone service provider, but it's actually a competitor looking to switch you over to one of their packages.

"It is best to never give personal information on an incoming call," said Sheriff Webre. "If you think the call might be legitimate, simply inform the caller that you will contact the company yourself to ensure the call is legitimate. If the caller tries to convince you otherwise, provides you an unverified call-back number, or requires immediate action, it is almost assuredly a scam."

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