Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #103 5/18/2011

Question: Should I call number on plain white postcard I got?


There is a group that is doing phishing by postal mail asking people to call a 800 number. The request comes on a plain white post card that says "Congratulations Dwight, We have good news. Call 800-xxx-xxxx with your access code Axxxxx". It could be a different 800 area code. The post card has no company name on it just initials at a post office box

If you call the number they want to get credit card info and other personal information and then will mis-use that information. Many reports say they offer a free magazine and then start hassling you to pay a large amount for it and appear as bill collectors.

This is really similar to phishing attempts you hear all the time coming in e-mail telling you that you inherited money or they need you to transfer it to the United States or to keep from losing money. They are referred to as Nigerian letters (many come from there (however there is legitimate things in Nigeria also) or as bank offers or needing information from a bank you may not even deal with claiming your account has been hacked.

You could get these in other formats, but if the company not identified and it does not look profession, red flags should appear to you. You can go on Internet and search (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) the phone number or other information and see if it is legitimate.

The best thing to do with these white post cards (they get the names and dresses from any number of lists on the Internet and then printing with your first name is simple) and the similar emails is put them in the trash or recycling bin. I would suggest shredding or tearing up the card first, but at this point all they know about you is your name and address. It is when you call they learn your phone number and any information you give them.

Be safe on the Internet and in the real world and don’t be preyed on.