Phone Scams Proliferating. Legislator Issues Warning

WPCNR POLICE GAZETTE. From County Legislator Benjamin Boykin. May 15, 2018:

Phone Scams
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Phone scams have grown increasingly sophisticated in recent years, and unfortunately using caller ID to screen calls is no longer always a reliable defense.
Legislators have recently been contacted by residents who have been the targets of scammers using phony caller-identification information to make scam calls appear as if they’re coming from a legitimate source — say a local power company or other utility.
According to an advisory from Con Edison, one prevalent scam involves callers who:
  • Pretend to be from Con Edison. They may even manipulate your caller ID to display Con Edison’s name.
  • Threaten to turn off your power or gas within an hour.
  • Demand immediate payment—often by prepaid debit card.
The New York State Attorney General’s office has several tipsto help you avoid falling prey to a phone scammer:
  • Think of the Telephone as a One Way Street
    Never give out personal information over the phone unless YOU made the call to a phone number you know to be legitimate. If you receive a call soliciting personal information, just hang up the phone, no matter what the caller ID says.
  • Beware If a Caller Asks to Keep a Conversation a Secret
    A legitimate caller will never request that a conversation remain a secret, and you should immediately be suspicious. Whether the caller claims to be from the government, a bank, or a family member, requests for confidentiality should raise a red flag.
  • Just Say No!
    You don’t have to be polite when you receive unsolicited phone calls. The safest thing to do is to say “no” and hang up. Legitimate callers will typically also provide requests in writing. It is better to be guarded than to fall victim.
Also, if you have been or suspect you have been the victim of a scam, contact local police.
And it’s not just individuals who are targeted by scammers, small businesses have also be victimized.  So be aware.
Please forward this e-news to family and friends who may be intere

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