FYI from DI Leyson, 110th Precinct!! Please pass on to friends/family. This can happen to anyone, anywhere.
Please inform your members that there are several scams going around the area. They vary slightly on "Who" is calling but the results are the same. The calls may come from "Con Ed" or "Time Warner Cable" or the "IRS" or someone from a "Law Enforcement" Agency (the most recent was California).
If it is "Time Warner Cable", they call and offer a package deal that sounds great.
If it is "Con Ed" or another "Utility", they call and threaten to turn off your lights or other service.
If it is the "IRS", they claim that you owe a certain amount of money from back taxes and if you don't pay you will be arrested.
If it is from a "Law Enforcement" Agency, they say a relative has been arrested and needs to be bailed out.
Any or all of these scams, or similar scenarios, may sound "unrealistic" to your members but I can guarantee that several people every day are being scammed out of hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
When the phone rings, it may even say the name of the "Utility" or "Time Warner Cable" with a 1-800 #. There are very inexpensive Apps for phones that allow you to change the name and number as they appear on people's caller ID that make people think the caller is legitimate.
The common denominator is that they instruct you to go to the local drug store and buy a "Money Pack" and call them back with the serial number on the card.
Common sense tells you that any legitimate business that you have an account with, or legitimate Law Enforcement Agency is not going to tell you to go get a cash card and read off the serial number to them over the phone. Unfortunately people fall prey to these scams all the time. Remember, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. If the little hairs on the back of your neck raise up, pay attention to your intuition.
What needs to be done is to tell the person on the other end of the phone that you need their call back and extension and you will get back to them. Any legitimate business will comply with your request. A "Scammer" will push the issue to be "resolved" right away. Then they need to look up on the computer or on their utility bill the "REAL" number for the company allegedly calling them and check with them to find out if the "offer" or "outstanding bill" is legitimate. DO NOT call the number they give you, it is already set up for them to answer and confirm that they are "legit".
Report all scams to your local precinct.
Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Ronald D. Leyson
Commanding Officer, 110th Precinct
94-41 43 Ave, Elmhurst NY 11373