PUTNAM COUNTY - The BBB has been receiving numerous telephone calls and inquiries about another "phishing scam" that attempts to get unwary consumers to reveal sensitive, personal information.

The solicitations came via Verizon text messages and asked users to call a New York-based phone number, 646-524-1352. The text message used references to US Direct Express (a legitimate debit card program run by the U.S. Treasury). If consumers dialed the number some were asked to provide a credit card number or in other cases, they were disconnected.

Local Verizon dealers say they also have received inquiries from consumers about this scam. Verizon Corporate spokesperson Kate Jay says, "We strongly encourage our customers to refrain from responding to any e-mails, phone calls, or text messages that are not confirmed to have come from Verizon Wireless directly."

US Direct Express never contacts consumers by phone, e-mail or text messages to ask for credit card numbers or other financial information.

Phishing scams main purpose to gain access to people's financial information and accounts in order to drain those accounts and also steal their identity.
Consumers are urged by Verizon to report this kind of fraud attempt to HYPERLINK "mailto:phishing@verizonwireless.com" phishing@verizonwireless.com or call 1-800-922-0204.

West Central Ohio Better Business Bureau President Niel Winget is also warning against high pressure security sales people.

"Every year the BBB encounters a sales technique for security systems that is not only high pressure, but downright intimidating," said Winget. "These are the guys showing up at your door using scare tactics, and other forms of high pressure, to gain entry into your home and putting you in a position that makes you feel obligated. These are the people you would be better off avoiding."

Winget suggests doing some research and finding a security system that suits one's budget, lifestyle, and can protect specific areas of the home that a homeowner may be concerned about. He also suggest purchasing a company from the region with a good reputation.

"Don't commit to someone who calls at your door without first doing your homework," said Winget. "If they are legitimate, they will not mind if you tell them you want to think it over and check them out. Contact at least three companies and get estimates."

Lastly, Winget warns consumers to be skeptical of all who call at your door unannounced.