Target Shopper in Luzerne County Falls For Caller ID Scam

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WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP – Authorities in Luzerne County are warning shoppers about crooks using a phone scam, who are trying to take advantage of people who shopped at Target during a data breach late last year.

According to Wilkes-Barre Township Police officers, a man who had shopped at the Target near Wilkes-Barre last month, provided personal information to a person who called his home.

The caller allegedly claimed to be a customer service representative, who needed to verify personal information after the nationwide hack.

Capt. Will Clark told Newswatch 16 that the crook likely manipulated his caller ID, so the victim’s phone displayed “Target” and a toll-free number that is listed on the company’s website.

"That`s one of the things that everyone needs to know, that caller identification is not a foolproof system,” said Clark. “Most legitimate organizations will never call and ask you your social security number, because they already have that information on file.”

Authorities said the crook has opened up a new credit card account with the victim’s personal information.

Despite the headlines about personal information being stolen from people who used debit and credit cards at Target last month, Cathy Bennett of Mountain Top told Newswatch 16 that she still swipes her plastic when she shops.

"It is easier than cash, because you have to keep going to the (atm) machine to pull out that cash all the time, because you have direct deposit into your checking account for work,” said Bennett.

Other shoppers told Newswatch 16 that they have switched back to the basics, after hearing millions of credit and debit card accounts being compromised.

"I used the check because I actually shopped here before Christmas and used my credit card,” said Susan Mattocks of Tunkhannock. “I decided maybe the check might be a little safer.”


  • Shealeen Faith

    checks are not safer. They contain all of your account information on the bottom of the check. With that information, new checks can be made and written against YOUR money. It can also be used to take money out of your account via unauthorized withdrawals!!!

  • Frank

    I’ve been using cash almost exclusively these days.
    These hacking scams are everywhere in this tattered economy.
    Stores, restaurants, online…you name it.
    If I buy something on the internet I use a low limit credit card or
    a gift card from a major store. You can’t be too carefull today.

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