Winchester Police officers responded to a report of identity theft on Wainwright Road at about 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 28.
On Friday, Oct. 25, the victim got a call from the Veteran’s Assistance Foundation. The caller asked the victims for their social security number, bank routing number and check numbers in order to update their insurance information. The victims hung up on the caller after they sensed that something was off.
“This happens all the time, maybe not with the exact same scam, but we deal with phone scams every week if not every day,” Lt. Peter MacDonnell said.
Lt. MacDonnell advised that people should never give personal info over to phone to anyone.
“I think you have to live by some guidelines: Never give out Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, or anything bank related,” MacDonnell said. “No legit insurer or bank is going ask for that kind of information. They should already have that info. You can always ask for a name and number tell them you’ll call back, then call the actual company and verify if your information needs to be updated.”
“This is happening everywhere. These people (scammers) have access to databases anywhere. They target the elderly often for scams like this. We can do some work to find out where they are calling from or IP addresses online, but they are usually coming from out of the country. We’ve seen cases from Eastern Europe, Canada, Africa even.”