Residents Cautioned Not To Fall Victim To Ongoing, Phone Scams

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Town of Oyster Bay Councilwoman Michele Johnson cautions residents to be on alert of potential telephone scams, particularly those soliciting any personal information or monetary contribution. These scams can be performed both by phone call or text message.
“Time and time again we hear about scammers trying to obtain sensitive information from unsuspecting residents, especially our senior citizens,” said Councilwoman Johnson. “Many times, scammers pose as officials from the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration or other well-known agency, designed to intimidate the call recipient. Now, during the holiday season, scammers have been known to ask for immediate payment via gift card, claiming that victims owe backpay in taxes or other debts.”
The councilwoman noted that many times, scammers’ return phone numbers can also be falsified to appear as a familiar number. In addition to seniors, others frequently targeted include students and first-generation Americans. Current common scams include offers of debt relief, credit repairs or opportunity to share lottery earnings. Scammers have also been known to pose as family members allegedly in trouble and seeking money.
“The last thing families need, especially during these ongoing uncertain times, is someone trying to scam them out of their hard-earned money,” said Councilwoman Johnson. “We alert all residents to be wary of any unsolicited phone calls and texts, especially those requesting money or personal information, even if they claim to be from a government or bank entity.”
The Federal Trade Commission offers the following tips to residents who fall victim to scam phone calls:
• Hang up the phone. Don’t press numbers to speak to alive operator or take your number off the list, this just confirms your phone number.
• Block any numbers from which you have received scam calls or texts.
• Don’t trust your caller ID. Scammers use the internet to make calls all over the world.
• Report your experience to the FTC online or by calling 877-382-4357. Visit www.ftc.gov for more information.
—Submitted by the Town of Oyster Bay

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