Numerous scams reported across East Texas as holiday season appr - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Numerous scams reported across East Texas as holiday season approaches

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BBB warns of people trying to swindle you out of money. BBB warns of people trying to swindle you out of money.
EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -

A number of East Texans are reporting schemes where someone has tried to swindle them out of hundreds of dollars. The Better Business Bureau said they usually see an increase in fraudulent activity close to the holidays, and this year is no exception. 

"A lot of things happen this time of year, around holiday time. People are busy, everything is hectic. Maybe you are not thinking as straight about things," said Linda Witherspoon, office manager for the BBB's Longview location. 

Witherspoon said she has already received more than a dozen reports from East Texans just Monday about a new scam, a text message East Texans are receiving from a bank.

"They tell you your account has been compromised or your debit card has been compromised, and they ask you for your account number. Then, they ask for the pin number. So, if you give them the account number and the pin number then they've got what they need," Witherspoon explained. 

But that is not the only thing East Texans need to watch out for.

Max Anderson said he received a phone call from someone posing as the Publishers Clearing House. 

"He said 'Well, what if I told you that you had won 1.3 million dollars with the Publishers Clearing House?' And I said, 'Well, that's kind of strange because I've never participated in registering for that,'" Anderson said. 

Anderson said the man promised the check would be at his door within the hour if he would send him a check for $300. Anderson said the man on the other end of the line would not take no for an answer.

Anderson said the man asked him to stay home from church so he could receive his $1.3 million dollars, but when Anderson told him he planned on attending church, the man became very persistent. 

"He said, 'But on a day you're winning $1.3 million, you wouldn't give up church?' and I said 'No, I'm not interested in doing that,'" Anderson said. 

Julia Hensley has also received a suspicious phone call. 

The caller told her, "$9,000 is yours, free grant," Hensley said. 

But then came the catch,"I need to get your checking account number and your routing number," the caller reportedly told Hensley.  

The BBB said these schemers can be very convincing, but it is always wise to double check with your bank, business or charity to make sure the person on the other end of the line really is who they claim to be. 

These East Texans were able to outsmart their callers, and they hope others will be just as careful this holiday season.

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