Holiday Scammers Impersonate Family Members

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

WEST TEXAS - The numbers on your credit card are prime targets for scammers.

According to the Better Business Bureau, scams always spike during the holiday season.

But they can take many forms, some that are far too convincing.

For Monahans woman Rebecca Brown, she found that out the hard way when she picked up the phone on Thursday.

"The automated voice on the other side said I had a collect call and after the recording, what appeared to be my daughter's voice was on the recording with her name, her full name," Brown said. "It said to accept the charges, enter my credit card number, and of course I panicked because I'm at work, so I start to enter my credit card number and realized what was happening, so I hung up."

The scammers tried to fool Brown into thinking her 10-year-old daughter, Madison, needed money.

The number called twice more, using her daughter's last name and even her nickname in her voice.

But when Brown called her babysitter, Madison was fine.

She was outside playing.

The calls didn't stop on Thursday.

"The first thing I did was call the bank and I put my card on hold," Brown said. "I also contacted the police department last night and this morning I received three more calls from this number."

Brown contacted NewsWest 9 and gave us the number, but when we tried it, there was nothing but a dial-tone.

The Better Business Bureau said they've never seen this kind of scam before, but said it's similar to the scams that prey on the elderly, convincing them to wire money to a supposed relative.

Brown said she's speaking up so no one else becomes a victim.

"When I realized what had happened, I felt vulnerable, completely vulnerable, because they had my daughter's recorded name," Brown said.

That scammer's number is (432) 556-7626.

If you believe a scammer is calling you claiming to be a family member, the Better Business Bureau recommends these tips:

1) Push the caller to give you a call-back number.
2) Hang up, then call that family member to verify what's happening to them.
3) If you gave any numbers on your credit card, cancel it, and switch to a new card.