Wisconsin News

Audio speakers, credit cards targets of the latest scams

National white van scam has made it to La Crosse area

Audio speakers, credit cards targets of the latest scams

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - With advancements in TV's and Blu-ray technology, more people are looking for the perfect sound system to go with them. It's making them vulnerable to a recent scam that has made it to our area.

You've probably heard the saying, "If it seems to good to be true, it probably is." That sums up this latest scam. It's called the white van speaker scam and it's claimed at least one victim in our area.

Jerry Christen from Holmen was approached in the Menards parking lot on the north side. A man in a white van says he was an electronics dealer that had ordered too many high-end speakers and was selling the extra's at a reduced price.

The sticker said $2,400, Christen bought them for $100. It was only after he got them home and hooked them up that he found out he'd been had.

They work, but are not great quality. The scammers are selling overpriced goods. Jerry is not alone, this scam is nothing new and has claimed victims all over the country.

How to avoid it? Avoid buying anything out of the back of a van without proof of quality.

If you have any questions about a product, take out your smartphone or laptop and google the product. You can even google the product with the word scam after it to see if it's part of a popular scam like this one.

There is another scam involving your credit card.

The State of Wisconsin is telling consumers to regularly check their credit card statements. Scammers are making thousands of small withdrawls.

The amounts range from around $13 to as little as $0.30

It doesn't sound like a lot, but that's the idea. They want to keep the withdrawls small enough that consumers don't notice.

If you find a charge, contact your financial provider immediately.

You can also protect your credit with these helpful tips from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection:

-Do not give your account number to anyone on the phone unless you made the call to a company you know to be reputable.
-Carry your cards separately from your wallet to minimize your losses if someone steals your wallet or purse. Only carry the card you need for that outing.
-Keep your eye on your card during a transaction. Make sure you get it back before you walk away.
-Never sign a blank receipt. Draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
-Save your receipts to compare with your statement.
-Open your bills promptly - or check them online often - and reconcile them with the purchases you have made.
-Report any questionable charges to the card issuer.
-Notify your card issuer if your address changes or if you will be traveling.

If you know of any scams, we'd like to hear about them so we can let people know they are out there.

You can email mmcpherson@wkbt.com, please include a copy of the scam. Or you can leave a message on our WKBT News8000 facebook page.

You can report the scam on the Consumer Protection Bureau website.

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