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Recent Uptick Prompts Consumer Alert On Phone Scams

The New York Attorney General warns residents to beware of phone scams.
The New York Attorney General warns residents to beware of phone scams. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

A recent uptick in reports of telephone scammers posing as the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State Attorney General's Office has prompted New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman to issue a consumer alert Monday.

New York residents are warned to watch for these common telephone scams:

IRS/Tax Collection Scam: The caller will claim to be an agent or police officer from the Internal Revenue Service or Attorney General’s Office calling about a past due tax balance that is owed.

Grandparent Scam: Typically, this scam comes in the form of an urgent phone call whereby the caller claims to be “your favorite grandson” or just says “It’s me” prompting the grandparent to supply the needed name. The scenario is usually something like this: The “grandson” is out of town and needs money fast, or to make bail, or to pay for automobile repairs or medical expenses. The caller begs the grandparent not to tell his parents, just wire the money immediately

Jury Duty Scam: The caller will claim to be an officer of the court and say there’s a warrant for the arrest of the victim for failing to report for jury duty. The scammer will also claim that there is a fine for failing to show up for jury duty, and that unless the fine is paid immediately, the police will be sent to the victim’s home to make an arrest.

Lottery Scam: The caller says you’ve won a foreign lottery and requests that you, as the “winner,” send a check or to wire money to cover taxes and fees.

Utility Scam: – The caller claims to be a representative of a local utility provider. In some cases, the scammer has the victim’s correct account number and advises the resident that their utility bill is past due and must be paid immediately to avoid termination of service.

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