Ken Paxton
Consumer Protection

Caller Leaves "Stock Tip" After Dialing "Wrong Number"

Our office has heard that consumers are receiving phone calls or voice messages from a caller who pretends to have dialed the wrong number. The caller wants to share a tip about stock that is supposedly about to go up. I am particularly concerned by a report that the caller then offers to make a stock purchase on the consumer's behalf...with the consumer's credit card number.

You are not very likely to get sound investment advice from a wrong number. And if you provide any personal financial information to a person who has called you, chances are you will simply end up as the victim of an identity crime. Do not be fooled by the fact that the caller pretends to be a wrong number rather than a telemarketer. You do not know who the person is.

Never give out credit card or other sensitive numbers to someone who calls you. Never send them money for any reason. Just hang up.

ABOUT CONSUMER ALERTS - The Office of the Attorney General accepts consumer complaints about businesses. When a pattern of complaints warrants intervention, the Attorney General can file a civil lawsuit under consumer protection statutes, sometimes with the result that a company is required to pay restitution to consumers -- see our Major Lawsuits page. However, when a consumer is swindled by a con artist, filing a complaint cannot help. Civil litigation can sometimes put a very unscrupulous business out of action, but often cannot produce restitution.

Individual con artists generally fall under the jurisdiction of a criminal prosecutor -- in Texas, this is the district or county attorney. But even when they are charged and convicted, these individuals usually have spent the money as fast as they have stolen it. A person who is the victim of fraud should report the incident to the police or sheriff. But by far the best thing is for consumers to be aware of fraud, so they are not swindled in the first place. For this reason, the Office of the Attorney General posts these Consumer Alerts about possible scams and schemes that come to our attention through citizen contacts to our office or other sources.