By Barbara Perone
Cell Phone scammers beware — thanks to a free, online, reverse phone directory we may be able to find out who you are! How’s that for karma, baby?
If you suspect you’ve received a fraudulent voice mail (or text message) on your cell, visit www.callcatalog.com. Enter the suspicious phone number & press search. You may get a message telling you they have traced the person who called you. If you don’t, you can leave an extensive message underneath the phony phone number to let others know that this phone number it’s connected to a scam.
A recent scam making its way to New Jersey, and other parts of the country, is a voice mail (and duplicate text message) sent to a caller’s cell phone. In this scam, the perpetrator urges the recipient to call their cell phone service provider’s 1 800 number by the end of the day to discuss important changes to the individual’s cell phone plan.
Often, the customer has not made any recent changes to his or her plan, but, regardless, don’t call this number! Instead, go to your cell phone provider’s web site. Send them an email to inquire about this request, or, get the real 1 800 number from their web site and call to report the incident.
The cell phone company representative will report the scam to the company. Next, he or she will offer to block the number from your phone for free. Some companies allow you to block up to five numbers a year at no additional cost.
Here’s an example of a phony text message recently sent to a Verizon Wireless customer:
From: 725-00 Verizon Wireless FreeMsg:
Please contact Verizon Wireless by the end of the day regarding your service.
Please call us at 800-688-9286 or click /logon to http://www.vzw. Apr 25, 1:22 pm
Here is what an authentic Verizon Wireless (test) text message actually looks like:
FREE VZW MSG- DO NOT REPLY:
Test message from Verizon Wireless.
Apr 25, 6:19 pm
At this point, if you want, you can file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against the perpetrators. To do that, visit www.fcc.gov. Fill out complaint Form 1088G. Once you have filled out the form, the FCC will send you an 11-digit reference number for your records. Keep this number handy in case they call with additional questions about your complaint.