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3 On Your Side: Verizon 54 Scam

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – They called claiming to be with Verizon, and told him he was entitled to receive some extra cash. But something just didn’t seem right.  3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan tells us about one man’s experience with what’s being called the $54 scam.

Last month Kellen Barranger got an unexpected call.  He says, “I got a voicemail from a phone number that showed up as an official Verizon tech support number.”  That voicemail was very specific, telling Barranger, “to redeem your 54 dollars please visit www.verizon54.com

But that voicemail message wasn’t actually from Verizon customer care.  Adam Levin of Identity Theft 9-1-1 says, “Hackers have the ability to create spoofed caller ID. So you think you’re dealing with an official organization.”

That website that Barranger was directed to, verizon54.com then asked for a Verizon username, password,  even credit card information.  Levin says, “They can create new accounts based on the fact they have sufficient information from you that they can re-create you and can convince other people that they are you.”

Fortunately, Barranger runs a blog about cell phones so the voicemail made him suspicious.  He contacted Verizon directly and didn’t fall for the scam.  The bogus website has since been shut down

This is yet another example of why you should never give out personal information to any company or person that contacts over the phone or online.  It’s most likely a scam.

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