*Above video is a recent story about a scam warning from the IRS*

AKRON (WJW) — A scam warning has been issued by Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.

Spectrum Cable and Target customers are being scammed with phone calls and texts by unknown persons who are not associated with those companies, Walsh said.

According to prosecutors, the caller claims to be from Spectrum and says they can lower your cable bill in half if you buy $600 in Target gift cards. The scammer asks for the phone number associated with your Spectrum Cable account as well as the four-digit security number with your account.

“The fake Spectrum caller will use that information to access your account through Spectrum’s actual automated system, saying they’ll pay your bill as long as you give them the Target gift card information,” prosecutors warn. “Your bill is never paid and you’ve lost the money used to purchase the gift cards.”

The scammer expects the customer to buy Target gift cards believing they can use the gift cards at the store, but before the customer can, the scammer already spent the money on your gift cards, prosecutors said. They also said the fake Spectrum representative sometimes offers a $100 gift card once you pay the upfront costs.

“A local judge told us they were almost a victim when they were asked to purchase $600 in Target gift cards,” Walsh said.

Walsh said that these are the red flags if you get a call like this:

  • You receive an unsolicited call out of the blue rather than seeking out the deal yourself.
  • The tremendous 50-percent savings for an extended period seems too good to be true…because it is!
  • Spectrum does not engage in telemarketing or make unsolicited sales calls.
  • They address you as a current Spectrum customer but do not cite your account specifics.
  • There is pressure to “act now” and provide personal/financial information immediately to secure the discount.
  • The representative dodges questions about their identity, physical address, credentials, etc.
  • Asking for payment via difficult-to-recover methods like wire transfers, gift cards, cryptocurrency, etc.
  • Using threats or high-pressure tactics to stop you from seeking advice from friends, family, or even directly calling Spectrum to verify the deal.
  • Walsh advises that If you are a victim of this scam, call the real Spectrum number immediately. That information is on your monthly bill.
  • Request increased security on your account.
  • Reset your password and security code.
  • Ask to have your account flagged in case scammers call in trying to pose as you.
  • Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission, local police, and even the AARP fraud watch network if you’re over 50 years old.

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