COLUMBIA - A phone scammer posing as Wyndham hotel rewards is offering all expense-paid trips in exchange for personal information.
Hallsville resident Dennis Wyatt said, “I got a phone call from a group saying they were with Wyndham rewards and that we’d received an all-inclusive paid vacation and that they’d taken our name out of a drawing.”
Although it was an unknown number, Wyatt saw the mid-Missouri area code and answered the phone.
“It was a 573 area code number, and it was a 239 prefix which is a Columbia prefix for a mobile phone. But usually businesses don’t call you on mobile, they usually have a landline, so it got me thinking.”
Wyatt said he knew something was up.
“I called Wyndham Rewards corporate and talked to a gentleman there and he said they don’t do it that way. They don’t do full inclusive, theirs is built on a percentage,” Wyatt said.
He said the local area code may entice people to pick up the phone.
“But it worries me because it's local or it seems like its local that so many people might trust these guys and stay on the phone with them and give them information that they shouldn’t give them,” Wyatt said.
This doesn’t appear to be the scammer's first time making these kinds of calls.
“They made it sound even more legitimate and said press two if you don’t want to receive these calls anymore. They’ve played this game before, they know how to make it sound right and keep people interested,” Wyatt said.
KOMU 8 News reached out to the Columbia Police Department, Hallsville Police Department and the Callaway County Sheriff's office for more information.
They said they receive calls about phone scammers every day and that people need to be aware that this does kind of thing does happen.
They also urge people to be careful about divulging personal information over the phone.