Scam Alert: Fake Refunds From Overpaid Tech Services
A new variant of an old scam seems to have recently resurfaced en masse, so here is a heads up:
In recent weeks I have received multiple voicemails from scammers leaving messages that they are calling to issue me a refund that is due to me in some cases because I ostensibly overpaid for some service (several of the messages specifically noted “technical services”), or because “the company has been ordered to close down” (whatever that means). The voicemails left for me then instructed me to call back at some number (often a toll free number – which, to some recipients of the message, may make the scammer seem more legitimate, and allows the scammer to see from what numbers people are calling).
Any time that someone receives a message that he or she is owed a refund, there may be some temptation to look into the matter. To someone who recently purchased technical services, the caller may even seem more real.
But, do not waste your time – if you were really due a refund, you would either receive it, or a notification that it is due to you, in a far less suspicious manner (such as a refund issued to your credit card, a physical letter, a check in the mail, etc.).
If, despite the aforementioned warning, you do decide to call back, do not give the party at the other end of the line any private information. He or she may ask you, for example, for your bank information in order to send you the refund that is due to you – be assured, however, that he or she likely intends to use any information that you provide to try to steal money from you, not to issue you any refunds. Hopefully, if you do call back, the questions asked by the party at the other end will make it obvious to you that something is amiss.
Here is a recording of one version of the scam message (in this case, the scammer’s phone number has been disconnected since I received the call), but, beware, many other variants are going around.