Unfortunately, we’ve received word from a customer that scammers are once again trying to scam our customers out of money. This latest report is from a customer that said they received a call from an undisclosed person stating that HES had overcharged them and that the customer had a refund coming to them. The scammer then requested the customer’s debit card information to deposit the refund directly into their account.
Thankfully, our customer recognized the scam attempt, and alerted us immediately so that we could alert our customers. ANYTIME you are contacted by a person saying they represent HES (or any other company for that matter) and are asked for any financial, ask for the caller’s name and tell them you will call them back at the company’s official phone number. Then visit the website of the company in question and call the phone number listed on their website. If the call was legitimate, you should be able to reach someone to confirm the original caller’s request.
In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission received fraud reports from 2.8 million consumers. More than $2.3 billion in losses were reported due to imposter scams, where a person pretended to be representing a company they were not an employee of. Most phone scams originate outside the continental United States, making it very difficult for U.S. authorities to track, apprehend and prosecute scammers. That is why your best line of defense is to educate yourself, and especially older family members, on how to recognize a scam. Anytime someone calls saying you are owed money, have won a prize, owe a fee, need to pay money to avoid legal consequences, or any similar type of call that requires you to either send money quickly, or provide your banking information to receive a payment, it is almost a certainty that the caller is a scammer. Hang up!
For more information from the Federal Trade Commission about scams, see the video below. We’ve also listed links to some useful articles to help you learn to recognize a scam.
Federal Trade Commission YouTube channel
Federal Trade Commission article on “How to Avoid a Scam”
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “Frauds and Scams” webpage
Consumer Reports article on “How to Protect Yourself From Common Scams”
AARP’s “11 Ways to Protect Yourself From Fraud in 2021”