HARRISBURG PA – Everything old may be new again, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said Wednesday (Aug. 7, 2013), but in one case it’s just as illegal as ever.
Kane described the latest version of what she said was “a very old telephone scam that has recently resurfaced in Pennsylvania. Don’t fall for it. It is simply an attempt to trick you into giving out personal or financial information.”
The person talking during the robocall, which can dial thousands of phone numbers automatically each day, claims to be from a non-existent agency called the “State Investigations Department.” Callers are told their name has surfaced in a criminal matter, and they must act quickly to clear the matter up.
In some cases, Kane said, they are told to call immediately and provide information or you will be arrested.
It’s bogus, the AG advised. It won’t happen. Yet because some state residents continue to fall for the scam, Kane offered these tips:
- Never give out personal information over the telephone or online.
- Never give out billing information over the phone, especially if you receive an unsolicited telephone call from a stranger.
- Never cash a check from an unknown source, especially if you are being asked to wire a portion of the proceeds to a stranger.
- Never wire money or purchase prepaid cash cards in response to a telephone or online appeal, whether it is from a stranger or someone who claims to know you.
- Never let emotion or fear overcome your common sense. If you get a call or online appeal for money from a friend or relative, slow down and verify everything. Don’t let anyone rush you.
- Never give out sensitive information to anyone on the phone unless you initiated the call to a company you know is legitimate.
If you believe you’ve been the target of a scam or any type of consumer fraud, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Helpline at 800-441-2555.
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