Phone scams are hitting the area again. Here are some of the scams the department has dealt with:
You get a call in the middle of the night and it is the police telling you that your grandchild has been arrested and needs money for bail. You are trying to wake up and figure out what is going on when someone gets on the phone and says grandma this is your favorite grandson or granddaughter (never says his or her name). The half sleepy you says Tommy?,Yes it’s me Tommy and I am in trouble and need money for bail. Then the “police” get back on the line and give instructions on how to transfer money to a location via Western Union or some other wire service.
The Western Union form has a section that warns about senders not to send money for an unconfirmed emergency related to a grandchild or other family member.
If you get one of these calls before you send money check it out; call the person that needs the bail money you may find they are sleep in their beds, or call their parents see where the child is located. Get the name of the police officer and police department that called and get a call back number.
The department has been made aware of the following; “I have been receiving several scam calls on my cell phone lately. They are coming from various phone numbers:
(268) 762-0004: from Antigua/Barbuda (848) 459-4922: from NJ (904) 239-5694: from FL (767) 275-9061: from Dominica (305) 507-4771: from Miami, FL (507) 124-5698: from MN (207) 121-4587: from ME
The one time I spoke with the caller; he is male with a heavy Middle Eastern/Indian accent and states he is from the Department of Medical Compensation or the State Medical Health office. He knew my name and asked if I had a surgery recently. I stated that I had but I did not tell him the kind of surgery. He stated (assumed) that since I have had side effects from my surgery (I have not but didn’t tell him that) that I qualify for compensation for my side effects. I asked the caller for their name (Aaron) and the phone number. The number he gave me after fumbling for a while was 848-459 and that was it. I asked to call him back after checking with my Doctor and the hospital and he stated that this was my one and only chance at getting the compensation. I asked to speak to a supervisor and he said he was the supervisor. I asked if there was a manager or VP, President, etc., that I could speak with, NONE. Then I stated that I was not a stupid woman and that I knew this was a scam and would appreciate that they remove me from their calling list and that I had my phone registered on the DO NOT CALL list. He got very belligerent and said you sound like a very stupid woman, cursed at me and I hung up.
I have been reading the comments on a website (800notes.com) regarding the phone number that I typed in (848) 459-4922 and they have similar stories and comments in regards to this issue.
I am receiving calls from the list of phone numbers above multiple times a day (which I ignore and put on my block list) and I got a call at 5:44AM this morning from the Antigua/Barbuda number.” This was all from a Neighborhood Watch Captain who wanted to make sure that we were all aware of cell phone scams and not to fall for them.
All the scams have taken on a new life because of the internet. Scams that use to come in the mail are now making the rounds on the internet which can reach 100,000 of victims at one time. All the bad guy needs is a few victims to send money to him and it is a good day for the bad guy.
We all have to remember that personal information is so easy to obtain these days and we all need to be careful in how we dispose of personal information. It is best to shred any papers that have your name address or any type of information about you. You don’t have to have a shredder, a sharp pair of scissors will do the job just as well.
CLICK HERE for a link to FBI page about scams
If you did not initiate the call do not give out any information to the caller.Just remember the old adage: ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’. Take the time to check things out before sending money.
The bad guys don’t hibernate, they stay active in all kinds of weather. So stay aware and protect yourself and your families.
Officer Mark G. Alba