Phony telemarketers are promising five-star resort stays in exchange for Personally Identifying Information (PII).

Who Is It Targeting: Residents of Duluth, Minnesota

What Is It:  Residents in the Duluth area are receiving scam calls that appear to be from a local number.  When answered the resident is greeted by a voice recording telling them they’ve won a free stay at a five-star Marriott hotel.  They’re then told in order to claim their prize they must “press 1.”  Once the resident presses 1 they’re connected to an operator who takes down their credit card information to “hold a deposit,” along with any additional personal information they can squeeze from the victim.  Rather than a legitimate contest, this is a scam perpetrated by thieves oversees who use phone spoofing software in order to hijack the caller ID of private citizens in the area.  Once off the phone, the scammer proceeds to use the acquired information to commit credit card fraud and potentially identity theft.

What Are They After: Credit Card Numbers, PII

How Can You Avoid It:  Keep in mind that you cannot ever win a contest you didn’t enter.  If you didn’t enter a sweepstakes or lottery of some kind, any call informing you of winning a giveaway should immediately be assumed to be a scam attempt.  Never give personal information over the phone to someone you don’t trust, especially when the call was unsolicited.  If you’re unsure whether a call may be a scam or not, give them only your address and ask them to mail you written proof of your prize/bill/etc.

Anyone can be a victim of identity theft, anyone can use our services and anyone can help us help others. If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, please contact us for free assistance at (888) 400-5530.  If you found this information useful, please consider donating to the Identity Theft Resource Center to help us keep our services free to the public.