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Another phone scam targeting Verizon customers

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Here’s a warning to Verizon subscribers. Actually, this warning is for anyone with a smartphone, a tablet, and even a smartwatch. Yesterday, this writer received a phone call allegedly from Verizon Wireless. Even though we missed the call, thanks to the Google Assistant’s ability to transcribe messages, we were able to read the message that read: “Dear Verizon Wireless customer, your account has been (sic) suspended for verification to reactivate your account , press one to speak with a customer service representative.

The glaring red flag that should have immediately made you suspicious of the call

Note the incorrect use of the word “have” instead of “has”. That’s a huge red flag, as most big companies won’t make such mistakes. If you receive a spam text, Verizon prefers that you copy the message rather than delete it immediately and send it to Verizon via “Spam” or 7726. In this case, the message was transcribed from a fake phone call, but we’ll send it anyway. Verizon uses the information you submit to find the spammer and prevent them from endangering the financial well-being of Verizon customers.

Its purpose is to make you reveal some personal information such as social security number or bank account number, or even your Verizon account number and login information. With all that information at their disposal, malicious criminals could order expensive new devices and accessories and foot the bill.

Remember to never give away any personal information, no matter how dire the situation may sound. Even if you’re threatened with account suspension, keep in mind that Verizon won’t be shutting down your service that quickly. If you can’t remember whether you made last month’s payment, or are sure you still have to pay and the message on the phone tries to convince you that your account has been suspended, don’t believe it without checking it yourself. And don’t call the phone number that’s in the message.

Last month, Verizon shut down another malicious scam call

What you should do when you receive such a call or text is to independently get a phone number for Verizon from a previous bill, by asking your digital assistants like Siri or Google Assistant, or by calling a Verizon store. Once you are connected to a legitimate Verizon representative, explain exactly what happened. Last month, Verizon said it had shut down a scam that made it look like spam calls came from the victim’s own phone number.
It pays to be alert, but you can’t be too wise either. For example, a few years ago we received a text message from Verizon asking for personal information and due to a spelling error we would ignore it. But we called the company anyway and the message turned out to be legit. So instead of ignoring a message like this, call your carrier anyway just to be safe.
This kind of scam is not limited to Verizon customers, so you should be careful no matter who your wireless carrier is. For some reason, Verizon customers seem to be the most targeted. Scammers like the largest cellular carrier in the US may believe that the more likely they are to make random calls, they are more likely to find a Verizon customer they can scam.

One last option you may want to try is to block the offending number from which the call is coming. On Android, open the Phone app and tap Recents at the bottom of the page. Scroll through the list until you get to the scam call and long press on the phone number. A menu appears; tap “Block”.

On iOS, open the Phone app and tap the Recent tab. Find the number you want to block and press the circled “i” icon. A menu will appear. Tap ‘Block’.

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