Jul 30, 2014

Police Warn of New Phone Scams in the Hudson Valley

You must remain vigilant to protect yourself.

Police Warn of New Phone Scams in the Hudson Valley
Recent phone scams have been reported in the lower Hudson Valley, state police say.

"One scam that has recently been brought to our attention is from a male caller who claims to work for the United States Treasury office," said state police from Troop K. "The caller reports that he is contacting punctual tax-payers and offers them a bonus for paying their taxes on time. The male caller, who reportedly had a foreign accent, calls from a Washington DC area exchange, requests bank account information to deposit the bonus. The information you may supply them could cost you."

Another recent scam involves a man calling regarding a recent surgery or hospital visit. The caller attempts to gain knowledge of the household residents with small talk and may claim to be involved in a class action lawsuit.  This also originates from a Washington DC area telephone number.

Protect yourself by not supplying them with personal information that could be used by identity thieves.

These are just a couple examples of phone scams that are utilized to target an unsuspecting citizen and exploit money from them. Scammers will say anything to obtain a victim's personal information. They may claim to work for a company you trust, or claim to be calling on behalf of a loved one, police said. 

You should never give your social security number, banking information, date of birth or other personal information over the phone. Banks do not call and ask for this information.

If there is any doubt as to the legitimacy of the potential scam, verify the allegations. Contact your local bank using a publicly listed telephone number. Contact the family of the friend or relative who is allegedly overseas and in need of money. 

Be cautious of solicitors who:
1. Do not provide a legitimate business address or phone number;
2. Demand immediate payment or payment in cash, wire transfer or money card;
3. Seem vague as to the circumstances;
4. Say that money has to be sent in to collect a prize;
5. Appear angry or impatient when asked reasonable questions about the organization they represent or the reasons for which money will be used.  The caller may have threatened with arrest if a “fine” isn’t paid.

For more helpful information on Crime Prevention visit: http://www.troopers.ny.gov/Crime_Prevention/

To report a possible phone scam, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1

The FBI’s tips on phone scams:  http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud.
The FDIC also offers warnings on wire transfer scams: http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnsum13/wire-transfer-scams.html

Don’t miss updates from Patch!