Are you a target for scammers? How they pick their victims

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Have you ever wondered how scammers get your number and email?

We have, so we looked into how scammers pick their targets.

We talked with Darryl Robinson, who says he is one of those people who can’t get scammers to stop calling him.

“They call middle of the night, during the day. You hang up, they call right back,” Robinson said.

Somewhere in his history is a clue as to why he’s such a big target, but he wasn’t aware of the red flags.

We talked with Attorney Ken Anthony about what scammers look for and this is what he had to say:

“A lot of times the people who are targeted are shown to be in a vulnerable position by the public records. They’re going through a foreclosure, they’re going through a bankruptcy, they’ve got a tax lien filed against them, they’ve got a lawsuit filed against them, they’ve been arrested.  They’ve got some kind of problem.”

Robinson went through a foreclosure during the recession, and the public record may be how the first scammer got his number.

Robinson said that after the foreclosure, he began receiving more and more calls, and now he’s afraid he’s on a scammers’ list.

Another way scammers sniff out targets is through social media.

They especially like pulling the grandparent and romance scams, where knowing your family and your marital status makes it more convincing.

And don’t forget the old-fashioned way.

“Some of them will just knock on your door. There are people who will go around and say we’re doing work in the neighborhood here,” Anthony said. “We can give you a lower price.”

But they leave with your money.

As for Robinson, he did find some relief in the app TrueCaller which screens scam calls.

“It’s catching ’em now, so my phone rings a lot less.”

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