Police Warn of New Telephone Scam Being Perpetrated

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WPCNR POLICE GAZETTE. February12, 2014:

White Plains Commissioner of Public Safety David Chong addressed the Council of Neighborhood Associations Tuesday evening at 5 Homeside Lane and warned them of a new phone scam purporting to be from official White Plains sources and real vendors in the White Plains Area.

The Commissioner warned listeners they should never give a credit card number over the phone, that they should independently verify with the company or entity what the caller wanting payment is real.

The steps in the scam were explained today in detail on the City of White Plains website.

This is how it works:

The callers call using a spoofed (phone number masked as a legitimate, traceable phone) alleging money is owed and needs to be paid right away or a service will be cut off, a warrant issued, or some other penalty imposed.

The callers have alleged to be from Con Ed, Cablevision, White Plains City Court, and other reputable entities. Again, the phone number may even come back to a reputable establishment, but this is a digital trick they use to hide the real phone number.

The callers will insist that the victim pay by a money card, most frequently the “Green Dot” money card sold at CVS, 7-11, Rite Aid, etc, but there are several different pre paid cards that they may insist be used. The caller will try to direct you to a store that sells the green dot pre-paid card (or similar), then have you call them back within a given time frame and give them the account number off the card.

In general, no legitimate company would insist or mandate this type of payment. If a company is insisting on you making payment as described above, it is almost certainly a scam.

Call the real company to verify whether you owe money and how a payment may be received. (Do not use number given by scammer, use phone number from a bill, receipt, phone listing, etc)

If you are suspicious, call the Police Department at 914-422-6111.

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