Telephone scams persist

State Rep. Eric Roe, R-158, is reminding residents of the presence of telephone scams as reported by the FBI.

The FBI is warning residents of a recurring phone scam whereby callers, acting as police officers, U.S. marshals or county sheriffs, are accusing victims of failure to appear for jury duty. The scammers tell their victims that an arrest warrant has been issued and then demand payment of a fine via a pre-paid debit card. The FBI offers the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of this or other scams:

• Never give money or personal information to someone with whom you don’t have ties and did not initiate contact.
• Trust your instincts: If an unknown caller pressures you, or says things that don’t sound right, hang up.
• If concerns remain about the caller’s claims, verify the information with the appropriate law enforcement agency or court officials.

Another scam on the alert is “spoofing.” Spoofing is a tactic which allows people to mimic the phone numbers of legitimate businesses on the receiving party’s caller ID

Currently, scammers are posing as agents from the Office of Attorney General and fraudulently claiming the call recipient owes money. The calls appear to originate from the attorney general’s office but are actually coming from another phone number

Other individuals reported scammers are using the “Grandparent Scam” from the same phone number. These callers falsely claim a grandchild of the call recipient is in jail and needs bail, or has been in an accident and needs funds. These scams frequently target senior citizens

If you have received one of these fraudulent calls, please call the Office of Attorney General Bureau of Consumer Protection hotline at 1-800-441-2555, email scams@attorneygeneral.gov.

In the meantime, if you know you’re receiving a scam phone call, hang up. Don’t press any buttons and, if you received a voice mail message, don’t call the scammer back. Don’t trust caller ID and never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden name, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls.

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