A Phone Scam That Starts with a Postcard
Source: Federal Communications Commission
Consider this a phone scam, even though no one actually calls you.
While your typical phone scam begins with you receiving an unanticipated call on your landline or mobile phone, this scam begins with a postcard delivered to you through the US mail. In this scenario, you may not be receiving an unwanted call, but instead may be tricked into initiating an outbound call you may come to regret.
In a recent complaint filed with the FCC, a consumer described their experience, which began by receiving a postcard marked "urgent, regarding a reward in my name." The consumer went on to describe calling the toll-free number on the card and speaking to a woman who said she was sending a $100 voucher good for purchases at stores and restaurants in the consumer's area. "They then asked for a 'handling fee,' to be paid by checking account or debit card, in order to send it," the consumer wrote.
Unlike a traditional phone scam, this one didn't start with an unwanted call. But the scammer's goal was to use the consumer's phone line to perpetrate a fraud.
If you think you've experienced this type of scam, you may report it to the FTC by calling 1-877-382-4357, or you can file a complaint online at ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
To learn more about different types of phone scams, especially those involving robocalls and spoofing, and how to avoid them, check out the FCC Scam Glossary and Consumer Help Center.