WABE News

“Georgia Powers” ID Theft Scam

A row of private mail boxes --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
A row of private mail boxes --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Identity thieves seem to get cleverer every day.

With a caller I-D rigged to read, “Georgia Powers,” – that’s right – “Powers” with an “s” – a woman scammed dozens of metro seniors, according to DeKalb police.  She would tell them their payment had not gone through and would ask for a credit card number. The caller even offered to process the payment if the customer would leave a credit card in the mailbox.

Fred Elsberry leads the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving metro Atlanta. He says, to avoid identity theft, never give any personal information over the phone to someone who has called you. Get a call back number to find out whether the request is legitimate. Chances are, it’s not.

If you do think you’ve been scammed, Elsberry says your first call needs to be to your credit card company.

“And what they’ll do is cancel that credit card and then reissue you another credit card. The second call needs to be to your local police to tell them what’s happened to you. Because there’s a good chance that, if it happened to you, it’s going to happen to other people in the area.”

A DeKalb County jury convicted the “Georgia Powers” scammer of several charges including identity theft and elder exploitation.