Newspaper advertisers target of new credit card fraud

Credit card scam artists have coined a new scheme involving newspapers, but law enforcement has the same old advice to foil them: use caution giving sensitive financial information over the phone.

Posing as advertising representatives from a newspaper, the scammers call people who had placed an ad or a classified notice and report a problem with the customer's credit card.

The caller says they need to confirm the card number and security number on the back of the card.

Bill Will, general manager of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, said the scam has been reported by a chain of weekly newspapers in eastern Washington and at the Bainbridge Review on Bainbridge Island.

Will said the scammers were not likely finding their victims from a hard copy of the paper.

"I would say most likely they are looking at the papers online," Will said.

Bainbridge Police Det. Trevor Ziemba said Friday he could not find a report matching the description of the fraud, but noted that people should never give financial information over email or on an incoming call.

"They're getting better," Ziemba said of the scammers.

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