Shopping scams are always a concern during the holiday season, but a new scam is keeping law enforcement on their toes.  Kieran Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Portland Field Office, said the “wrong number” scam has become common in Oregon.


“It’s essentially just a social engineering scam, where someone sends you a text message and then you say ‘who is this?’ and they claim, ‘oh, I’m sorry; it’s a wrong number.’ And they engage you in this back-and-forth conversation over SMS or text message, or social media, and ultimately, it becomes a conversation somehow about investing in maybe crypto-currency or some other thing.”


He said victims hand over their money after being lulled into a false sense of friendship with the scammer.  He also warned about getting to excited about great presents or fun family outings.  Ramsey said scoring hot concert or event tickets can lead to heartache, if you’re not careful.


“If you get those tickets as a Christmas gift, don’t post photos of them online; especially if they have a barcode.”


That ticket can be duplicated and re-sold without your knowledge, until you show up to find someone in your seat.  Ramsey urges shoppers to be especially wary of deals that look too good to be true; or any purchase that requires you to pay with a gift card.


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