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Scammers try spiel on Roane detective

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By Damon Lawrence

Scammers have gotten so bold that they even tried to pull one over on a law enforcement officer.

Bryan Walker, an investigator with the Roane County Sheriff’s Office, received a call last week from someone purporting to be from his credit card company.

“I knew it was a scam, because I don’t even have the particular credit card they were asking me about,” Walker said.

The computerized voice said Walker’s account had been frozen because of fraud and asked him to punch in his credit card number to reactivate the account.

Other people in the community have reported receiving similar phone calls.

The way the scam works is a computerized voice will call someone and say due to fraudulent activity, their credit or debit card has been deactivated.

The voice then instructs them to key their number in on the phone to reactivate the card.

To avoid being victimized, Walker said people should not do that.  

“If your credit card company calls you, they should be able to supply you with the information, because they’re your credit card company,” Walker said. “They should already have your information.”

Credit- and debit-card use tends to increase during the holidays.

Walker said the scammers are trying to use that to their advantage.

“They’re trying to use the fear the community has of being victimized to victimize them,” he said.

When he received the call, Walker said he decided to play along with the scam just to see how it worked.

“I punched a number in two or three times and it kept telling me the number was invalid,” Walker said.

“I knew it was, because I don’t even have that particular credit card.”