Senior Citizen Says Look Out For Phone Scam - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/09/06-Lindale

Senior Citizen Says Look Out For Phone Scam

An East Texas senior citizen says she's gotten more than a dozen phone calls over the past week, telling her she won a shopping spree and free gas, if she gives them some of her credit card information.  "He offered me a $1,000 shopping spree because I had been such a good Mastercard customer and $100 in free gas," said Correne Beasley, 83, of Lindale.  "They said that they had the last four digits of my Mastercard and they needed to verify it."  

But Beasley did not fall for  it.  She contacted authorities, but they've been unable to trace the caller.  Last time Beasley got a call, she gave the person on the other line a piece of her mind.

The great-grandmother started logging the calls nearly two weeks ago after seeing the number appear on her caller ID.  Beasley says she told the caller she was not interested and to take her name off the calling list. But when the calls persisted, Beasley tried calling the number, back.   It turned out, the number was disconnected.

She called the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, Lindale Police and two phone companies, which verified the number was disconnected. The phone company told her the scammers were able to use a disconnected number through their computer to place the call.

Kay Robinson with the Better Business Bureau says that makes it almost impossible to track scammers down. "Scam artists are all around us. It could be somebody next door calling you. It could be somebody from another country," said Robinson.  Robinson says the best thing to do when someone calls asking for personal information is to hang up.

But, Beasley had a few words with the caller on Friday. "I told him I wasn't interested and I told him he was nothing but a scammer and the police were on to him and sooner or later they were going to catch him and he tried to deny all this," said Beasley.

Beasley says since then, the calls have stopped.  She says the phone number was traced back to St. Petersburg, Fl. She says the phone company told her they had received more than 200 complaints regarding the same number.    

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com

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