Verizon: DNC List Scam Spreading

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Con artists are using false offers to place consumers on telemarketing do-not-call lists to scam them out of their personal information, including Social Security numbers, telecommunications provider Verizon said yesterday


In the scam, callers identify themselves as officials with DNC list agencies and offer to register consumers to the list if they can confirm their personal information and identity. In addition to Social Security numbers, the callers take telephone calling card numbers.


The scam is a variation on an older con in which perpetrators claim to be working in an official capacity -- typically as a government official or representative of the telephone service provider -- in order to gain sensitive personal information.


It's an example of "social engineering," in which false claims and social skills are used to commit a theft, said Dave Fisher, fraud prevention manager with Verizon.


Verizon issued the warning in a joint statement with the New York Consumer Protection Board, which operates the state's DNC list.


Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania attorney general's office issued a similar warning about a DNC list scam to consumers in its state. In that case, con artists promised consumers they could sign up for a DNC list for $3.99 a month or a one-time fee of $299. However, registration to the state's list will be free.


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