Scam efforts increase over Fourth of July weekend
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - During holiday events, people often spend more time on the internet and spend more money. Scam artists view holidays, including the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, as opportunities to swindle money or personal information from people.
Scammers will attempt to reach people in person and through the internet.
Multiple Lubbock institutions have released guidelines to help differentiate between a scam and a legitimate service.
The Lubbock IT Alert system, developed under a partnership between the Texas Tech IT Division and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, has issued recommendations to combat online threats:
- Do not click on links in an email, or copy and paste any links into a browser, unless the receiver knows the sender and was expecting to get the information
- Do not open attachments in an email unless the sender’s identity is known and the information is expected
- Delete and do not reply to any suspicious emails
- Update endpoint protection on all devices, especially devices storing personal information
- Update system devices if needed:
Scammers may also pose as door-to-door officials for the City of Lubbock.
“Pushy scammers will contact customers to obtain payment for a supposed past-due charge. Scammers may also threaten to shut off service if payment is not received,” according to the City of Lubbock Utilities website.
Utility sectors in Lubbock, including water, wastewater, stormwater, solid waste and LP&L Electric, do not conduct business door-to-door. In addition, people will never be contacted via phone or in person for credit card information or to be informed their services will be shut off without immediate payment.
“City of Lubbock Utilities will send out reminder notices, employ automated courtesy calls and alert customers to past due amounts by mail,” according to the website.
The City of Lubbock has laid out some guidelines to protect Lubbock citizens from scammers:
- If someone calls and demands money for a supposed missing payment, do not pay. Hang up and call the City of Lubbock Utilities at (806)775-2509 to report the incident
- People should not click on links sent via email unless they signed up to receive their online statement
- People should not click on links sent via text message unless they signed of for text notifications
- Scammers can sometimes “hijack” real business numbers. If a suspicious call is received from a legitimate business number, contact the FCC, the LPD and the City of Lubbock Utilities department
- If homeowners are called about setting up solar energy systems and the caller claims to be working with the City of Lubbock, that claim in false. Hang up immediately
- If homeowners feel threatened by a person who has approached their home posing as a City of Lubbock employee, call the police
Protecting one’s privacy is always important, but it is vital to take more precautions during high-traffic scam times. Scams can also be reported to the FBI.
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