HAR has learned that at least two REALTORS® in Montgomery County have recently been targets of a very convincing gift card scam, so we urge all members to be vigilant with incoming phone calls. The perpetrators of the scam will have done their research on you and, when they call, will mention the names of people you know and will cite examples of your personal activities, such as community service. They will also know your business practices. In the most recent case, they knew that the agent’s office had relocated. They call REALTORS® claiming that there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest and will outline specific instructions for turning yourself in. They have also asked agents to text them a photo of their driver’s license. They apparently have the sounds of a police scanner playing in the background to add to the realism that they work in law enforcement. Next, the perpetrators will ask that you purchase gift cards from a retailer in specific amounts and will then have you provide the numbers and security codes for the cards, which essentially turns free money over to them.
Law enforcement experts advise not engaging with these scammers when they call and to report the calls immediately to local police. They say that authorities serving a warrant will never call and ask anyone to turn themselves in.
Remember that HAR has a tool to verify the identity of someone that may be contacting you for the first time. It’s VerifiedUser. Learn more about this important safety offering and sign up today at www.har.com/verifieduser.