Scammer Slam: Pottstown Woman Said Nothing, Lost Nothing

SOUTH COVENTRY PA – A 92-year-old Pottstown area woman proved she’s far smarter than a crook who tried to con her into talking about her bank account, Pennsylvania State Police from the Troop J Barracks in Embreeville reported Tuesday (May 24, 2022).

The woman, of South Coventry Township, Chester County, called and troopers responded May 2 (Monday) shortly after noon to tell them about a scam phone call she’d received. Details of the alleged swindle weren’t revealed in the report, but troopers acknowledged “an unknown actor unsuccessfully attempted to steal” what would have been account data and other informational keys to her savings.

She apparently divulged nothing, and eventually hung up.

Troopers have labeled the incident as “theft by deception: impersonation” and said they are investigating.

Save yourself from scammers

Such calls are now commonplace. A survey conducted in March 2021 by a call-security company estimated about “59 million Americans lost money to a phone scam in the previous 12 months,” according to AARP’s online Fraud Resource Center. The Federal Trade Commission indicates the “median loss in scams that start with a call is $1,200.” That’s higher than any other form of contact, the commission claimed.

If someone calls and asks you to give up personal information, be like the South Coventry woman, experts advise. Tell them nothing. The AARP also suggests:

  • List your phone number on the trade commission’s National Do Not Call Registry;
  • Consider using a call-blocking mobile app or device to screen calls, and weed out spam and scams;
  • Ask your phone-service provider if it offers any blocking tools;
  • Hang up on illegal robocalls;
  • Slow down and ask questions. Scam callers will pressure you to commit right away; and
  • Independently research travel deals, charities or business, and investment opportunities you hear about by phone.

Photo by Curology via Unsplash, used under license