The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has received a report of a new phone scam targeting Humboldt County residents.
In this phone scam, the caller claimed to be “Paul Wilson” from DIRECTV. The scammer told the victim that DIRECTV needed to upgrade the victim’s equipment. To complete the upgrade, the victim was told to turn off their television and pay $229 via credit card. The scammer told the victim that they would get their money back through a discount on their monthly bill. The scammer knew the victim’s DIRECTV account number and their total paid each month.
When the victim called the company directly, DIRECTV confirmed that there is no upgrade happening as described and no one by the name of “Paul Wilson” working there.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public to never give out personal information, bank information or credit/debit card information over the phone to a caller that you didn’t contact first. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be with a legitimate company and asking you to pay for an upgrade via credit card or a pre-paid card, hang up and call the company back at their publicly listed line.
To protect yourself from fraud and identity theft, be sure to properly dispose of all mail with personal information. Shred bills and other mail that may have account numbers, bill totals and other information that a scammer could use to trick you. Consider switching to paperless statements with your service provider and regularly change your email password to protect your inbox.
Report phone scams to your local law enforcement and to the Federal Trade Commission.