Tips to avoid becoming a victim

Delaware State Police are issuing a scam alert advisory throughout Delaware.

Police recently received a complaint from a citizen in Kent County regarding a phone call in which the caller claimed to be with Verizon. The caller claimed network was switching from 4G to 5G, which would cause cell phone service problems and required an account reset. The caller then instructed the victim to restart his cell phone, which he did.

Moments later, the victim received an email from Verizon confirming his order for an Apple iPad tablet. The scammer had made the order in the victim’s name.

Verizon was notified of the incident.

Many of these scams are difficult to investigate. They will target people of all age groups. Taking steps to prevent identity theft can greatly reduce the chances of becoming a victim. A few suggestions for protecting yourself online and offline:

Shred all documents containing personal identifying information such as your social security number, your credit card or account numbers or even your middle name. These documents can include bank or credit card statements, pre-approval letters or utility bills. If you aren’t sure, shred it before discarding it. Use locked filing cabinet or a document safe for important documents that you want to keep. Protect all of your online passwords. Don’t store them on paper or in unsecured files. Be cautious when showing personal identifying information on social media sites. Be wary of callers that provide you with some information from your account and but ask you to provide other, basic account information. Validate promotional offers with the company before logging into your online account to accept them. For example, if you get an email promising a $30 credit to your wireless bill, do some research online to see if it’s a scam. When in doubt, contact the company directly to validate the offer. Secure your internet connection. Using public WiFi connections may allow a fraudster to obtain the information stored on your computer or smartphone. Regularly monitor your credit report for unusual or unauthorized activity. Many sites offer a free credit report in exchange for a promise to subscribe to additional services. Under the Fair Credit Act, you are entitled to a free credit report from the reporting agencies.

Find more information from Verizon here. Find more information from the government here.

Anyone with information in reference to this incident or other similar incidents is asked to contact Troop 4, Detective Powell, at 302-856-5850. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.