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Beware of Scam Phone Calls

The Bucks County Office of Consumer Protection said the number of scam phone calls in the area has jumped in recent weeks.

The Bucks County Office of Consumer Protection reminds residents to be skeptical of phone calls from "government agencies" asking for personal information.

 

In the last three weeks, we have seen a number of fraudulent calls being made to Bucks County residents. 

Our office would like to remind all of our readers that any calls you receive at your home from people or businesses that you are not familiar with should be looked at with caution. 

There have been calls received from people posing as government agencies such as Social Security, Medicare, and Grant Offices.  If you do get a call like this ask questions, but do not give the caller any information.  Hang up and call the agency that they said that they represent with a number that you know is legitimate. 

Rarely do government agencies call consumers directly.  Most official notification comes via United States Postal Service mail. 

Unfortunately, the mail can also bring the second area of problems that we are seeing. The amount of bogus lotteries and fake check scams received are increasing at an alarming rate. 

Although people have been warned about these scams the scam artists continue to get victims. 

These lotteries that come in the mail are all bogus and consumers should just throw them away in the trash. 

If you happen to get any mail referring to a lottery winning, DO NOT RESPOND.  If you do respond, you will most likely then be directed by someone to wire money for a number of fees or bogus taxes. 

Some scammers even send checks that look real to “cover the costs”. They too are counterfeit and, if you deposit them in your account, they will bounce.  Your bank will hold you personally liable for that fake check. 

The reality is that consumers are falling victim to these scams and are left with no money and no recourse.  It is almost impossible to track down these scammers. 

We are urging everyone to use caution when responding to calls, emails and postal deliveries.  We certainly are not trying to frighten consumers but the fact remains that many people are continuing to fall victim to these scams. 

If you or someone you know experiences something you feel may be a scam, feel free to call our office to speak with our Consumer Investigator.

You can also get information on our web page by visiting:

http://www.buckscounty.org/government/departments/CommunityServices/ConsumerProtection/ConsumerTips/ElderFraudBooklet02-2012.pdf

Michael Dwells January 13, 2013 at 07:40 AM
Could these people be related to the call I received last week? The phone number the scammer used was 876-279-0120 and this guy told me I won $1 million. I only needed to pay for the processing fee and then I get my prize. But I knew better and found a complaint posted at http://www.callercenter.com/876-279-0120.html. I reported the call to the police.

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