Local individuals fall prey to scam artists

Local individuals have recently been flooded with sweepstakes mail, but even more dastardly are the phone calls promising substantial amounts of money and cars.

 

 

Posted November 29, 2013

By Lori Kesinger

Local individuals have recently been flooded with sweepstakes mail, but even more dastardly are the phone calls promising substantial amounts of money and cars.

Targeted elderly individuals are being coerced into believing they will receive money, up to $5 million, and cars after they pay an upfront fee. Persons who claim they cannot afford the fee are berated and called constantly until they give in by sending a check, rechargeable credit card, and/or give out their Social Security number and personal account information.

The scam artists are using personal names and addresses to have the fee returned to them. Some of the scammers calling have heavy accents and are difficult to understand. Calls have been identified to come from Michigan, Oklahoma, and even Jamaica. Scammers have also indicated they will meet up with individuals to deliver the money and a car in nearby locations. The scammers are relentless and will continue to harass an individual until they get what they want. They are also very shrewd and know how to get personal information.

The local community should be made aware of this fraudulent scheme to defraud the elderly. Personal information should never be given to someone who calls, and before sending money ask this question, “What guarantee do I really have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?”

For more information or to file a complaint on telemarketing scams, go to the Montana Department of Justice website at doj.mt.gov/consumer/telemarketing/ or the Federal Trade Commission website at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-telemarketing-scams.

      



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