Popular Scams you don’t want to fall for:

October 2, 2013 at 8:57 AM | Posted in Safety Tips | Leave a comment
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(The information in this article was posted on Facebook © 2013 Worcester Telegram & Gazette)

Lately, there has been an increase in the types of scam attempts throughout the central mass area.  The following article was posted by The Worcester Telegram & Gazette, which will not only make you aware of the most common scams but tell you what you can do to protect yourself against them:

1. Utility company scam
National Grid warns that it has received calls from customers saying they were contacted by phone from someone claiming to be from National Grid. The caller tells the customer they have a past due balance and unless they pay up right there on the phone, their power will be shut off. It’s a scam. National Grid does make calls to customers, but never demands payment on the phone. If in doubt, hang up and call National Grid yourself.

2. The driveway paving scam
This one been around for a while and in August Westboro police issued a warning to residents. These crews usually go door-to-door and claim they have extra materials. They offer to seal or pave a driveway at a reduce rate, but lo and behold, they run out of materials and need more cash to finish the job. Police’s advice: check for a license issued by police to door-to-door solicitors.

3. The fake check scam
This scam involves fake checks written to you and purportedly from a company, such as an insurance company. Other companies’ names have been used in the scam. What’s the possible harm in cashing the check? Once cashed the scammers can drain your bank account. Anyone can be a target. Just ask Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. He was sent a fake Aetna Life Insurance Co. for $2,150 earlier this year. He obviously never cashed it and had investigators check it out. Police’s advice: call the company to ensure the validity of the check.

4. Can you spare some cash?
These people usually troll parking lot plazas and sometimes carry a gas can. Apparently they ran out of gas and need some cash. Sometimes these people don’t even have a car. There is a guy in the Lincoln Plaza in Worcester who tries to con people out of money while carrying the gas can. Police’s advice: walk away.

5. Fake municipal employee scam
Usually this involves people posing as a water department or public works employee. They come up with some excuse to get inside someone’s home. When one person talks to the homeowner, the others are rifling through your stuff; stealing jewelry, cash and other valuables. Police advice: check for identification. Call the department the person says they are representing.

6. iPhone Craigslist ads
Worcester police have seen a view of these already. Some cases involve people being robbed at gunpoint. People looking to sell or buy iPhones have been targeted. Several times a location to meet was arranged, only to have someone robbed. Police’s advice: Be cautious while making online sales.

7. Hostage scam
A person will call someone and say their relative was hurt in a crash or just plain taken and money is needed to gain their freedom. This scam has targeted the Hispanic community in the past. The caller asks that money be wired or the loved one will be harmed. Some calls have been traced back to Puerto Rico. Police’s advice: call authorities, check the number and check to make sure family are safe.

8. The Nigerian letter, European lottery, foreign currency
These emails originate back to when email started. They include solicitations from a person asking for money to help move a large inheritance or cash, the announcement of someone won the lottery or other fake winnings announcements. All of them lead to either drained bank accounts or requests for money to be mailed or wired. Police’s advice: If it is too good to be true, it isn’t true.

At Protector Group, we encourage you to be vigilant and be careful not to fall prey to the dishonesty of others.


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