The Glen Cove Police Department sent out a new warning on phone scams, noting that there has been an increase in phone scammers working the Nassau County area.
Victims are being tricked when receiving calls that come up as the actual business, public utility company or governmental institution on their caller ID. These scammers are able to change their actual phone number so it appears differently on the victim’s caller ID. This is known as “spoofing a number.”
Police said the scammer will attempt to make the victim believe they represent the public utility, business, or government agency that appears on the victim’s caller ID. Once they convince the victim of their position, they will request some type of payment. The scammers can be very convincing, according to authorities, who warn that, in almost all of these scams, the caller requests the victim purchase a pre-paid credit card of some type.
“Once the victim purchases such a card the caller will ask them to reveal the card’s secret pin number,” said Det. Lt. John Nagle of the Glen Cove Police Department. “When they have the pin code the scammer proceeds to deplete the card’s monetary value. Once the scammer tricks a victim into purchasing a pre-paid card they will usually contact the victim again requiring additional cards.”
He said that in many instances a victim will supply the scammer with thousands of dollars before the victim runs out of money or realizes they have been scammed.
“Beware of callers who request payment over the phone,” said Nagle. “Don’t believe your caller ID. If you think the actual bank, business, public utility company or government agency is actually attempting to contact you, look up their number and call them directly.”
Most importantly, Nagle said to remember that if a caller requests any type of payment using a pre-paid card, “you should immediately think it’s a scam and hang up the phone.”
“If you are contacted about winning some type of prize, but are requested to pay the tax up front or pay a handling fee, it’s a scam,” said Nagle.
If you believe you received one of these calls, or have supplied money to someone using pre-paid cards contact your local police department.