Scam: Was I just fooled? It could happen to you.

The oddest thing happened to me yesterday, and I really can’t quite put my finger on what happened, so I’m looking for some insight from you guys.

Yesterday morning I had received a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize in Rhode Island, and at the time I was busy, so I let it go to voicemail. The person in the voicemail mentioned something about some credit card charges and them needing to be explained, so I called back a short while later trying to figure out what the issue was.

When I spoke to the person on the other end, they mentioned they had a charge on their credit card bill that they didn’t recognize and wanted it refunded. Confused, I told him that I don’t charge credit cards and I asked him what charge he was specifically referring to, hoping I could point him in the right direction. He mentioned it was a several dollar amount from “AA Inflight Svc, Tulsa OK.” Odd, I mentioned that that was American Airlines and it was probably for an inflight food or beverage purchase. He then asked me if I was from Oklahoma, to which I replied that I wasn’t. Pressing further he asked if I was on a specific flight on a specific date, to which I told him I wasn’t. He had mentioned that he called his credit card company to dispute the charge, but that they gave him my name and phone number to do so. At that point, we just hung up, I think both of us even more confused than before.

There’s several unanswered questions here:

  • Why would a credit card company give out my information as American Airlines?
  • I didn’t give him any personal information, but I’m concerned about the nature of the call and what he may have been phasing for, if it was in fact a scam.
  • Is it a coincidence he called me and that I knew what the charge description was referring to? Out of all things it could have been, I was very familiar with that type of charge description, which is very odd.

I’ve received several really valuable insights so far from friends, like this one from Adam W:

Based on your description it doesn’t sound like a scam to me since he didn’t actually ask you for any information or to send him money. Also the fact that you state he sounded confused. In order for a phone scam to work the person has to be confident and convince you that he/she is legitimate. It sounds to me like the dude legitimitely had an incorrect transaction from AA. If you are charged incorrectly by a vendor (ie it was not a fraudulent charge on your card) the credit card company is going to ask you to dispute the transaction with the vendor before disputing it with them, because if it was just a mistake the credit card company shouldn’t be liable. The vendor should. So it sounds to me like either the credit card company gave him the wrong number or he punched in the wrong number. The glaring issue with this theory though is I would think the vendor’s number would be an 800 number which I assume your number is not. Very odd.

While I believe most of this, I do know that AA has a revenue collection department in Tulsa that has a local number, however that number is local to Tulsa. I once had to call here to get a refund on a ticket.

Of course, there had to be some humor on the topic, in an exchange with View from the Wing writer Gary Leff. 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 11.00.30 PM

In the end, I’m not too concerned that this person took any information or that I’m in any “danger” because I know I didn’t give anything person to him, though from his description, I’m worried someone else may have done that for me. I’m curious as to your opinion…

AA Heathrow

Has anyone here received a similar call before? Do you think this was a scam?

 

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Comments

  1. Carl P says

    It almost seems like he thought you had the drink and somehow charged it to his card (asking if you were on the flight, etc.).

    How your name and number into the mix is the strangest part.

  2. says

    AA ties your purchases to your seat number and name. I wonder if something got mixed up in the inflight machine and it tied something to you but charged him?

    • says

      The guy asked me if I was flying on a particular day and I told him I wasn’t, so it’s odd that it would tie it to my name if I was never even flying that flight, let alone within even a week of the day he asked about.

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