Tulsa Police issue new scam warning

Friday, August 5th 2005, 10:58 am
By: News On 6

A new scam offers you a $500 Wal-Mart gift card in exchange for you testing a few of their new products. They only ask you to pay five dollars for shipping and handling. Sounds like a good deal, but it's not.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright explains why this scam could not only leave you with an empty bank account; it could also land you in jail.

Like so many scams, this one is almost too good to resist, a $500 Wal-Mart gift card in exchange for only five dollars in shipping and handling. The problem is you have to give your bank account or credit card number so they can withdraw that five dollars. Rick Brinkley with the Better Business Bureau: "What we hear from consumers is they took that $4.95 or they took $129 or they kept taking money from me and I never got the $500 gift card." They even go so far as to offer some people a phone job, which is what, happened to a Tulsa man. They said they'd pay thousands if he'd just answer yes to various questions over the phone.

Rick Brinkley: "He's told to answer yes to the following questions, are you Lori Fullbright? Yes. Is this Lori Fullbright's account number and they use Lori Fullbright's account number. Yes. Okay, now, we're going to do this with a Hispanic accent and you'll be Jose Garcia."

Say they take a bunch of money out of your account and you tell the bank they didn't have your permission. The bank calls the vendor who says sure they authorized it and here's an audiotape of them saying yes, to prove it, then you get stuck with the charges.

The Consumer Reward Network is behind this, the problem is, you could lose more than money. Rick Brinkley: "The consumer is now part of the fraud because he knowingly agreed to say yes when he knows darn well he shouldn't have been. The first part of this scam, you could lose money, but the second part, you can go to jail." And, no gift card or job is worth that.

To protect yourself, never give your account number to anyone who calls, no matter how good the deal sounds. Never answer "yes" to telemarketers because they can record your voice and edit it so it sounds like you're agreeing to things you really haven't.