When the phone rings, the first reaction many of us have is to anwer the call. These days, however, unless a name pops up on the screen that you recognize, perhaps the best thing to do is – let it ring. You just may avoid getting caught up in a scam.
Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame wishes he had followed the advice that he so often dispensed to others about that very thing; it may have saved him the inconvenience of contacting his bank and associated credit cards.
Brame told John C. Rose in an email Wednesday about getting a call from someone who claimed to be with Duke Energy. The caller said Brame’s electricity would be cut off, “due to delinquency and not paying my bill on time.”
At the time, the sheriff was in a hospital waiting room, and was in a vulnerable state because his wife had just undergone back surgery. “I was worried, concerned, not thinking straight,” Brame wrote in the email to WIZS News. He was waiting to go in and see his wife in recovery, and what he did next is what he tells others all the time NOT to do: He furnished information to that person on the other end of the phone.
The last thing he needed, after being at the hospital with his wife, was to return home to no electricity, he said.
When he was able to get to a computer and access his account online, he realized his mistake. Of course, “I had already paid my bills on time and had a zero balance with Duke Energy,” Brame said.
The worry and concern for his wife in the hospital shifted to Brame being “furious, upset and disturbed” for being a victim of a phone scam.
Now came the hassle of contacting his bank, put it on alert and cancel his cards.
“Please, please, please, don’t do what I did,” Brame said. “They are out there, regardless of who you are.”
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