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State police issue phone scam warning

The New York State Police is issuing a warning regarding the latest phone scam hitting the Western New York area.

The state police have received several calls regarding phone scammers contacting residents and businesses stating they owe money or that a loved one is in jail. The caller instructs the individual to go to a local store and purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak card. The dollar amount varies depending on which “story” the caller uses. Once the Green Dot MoneyPak card is purchased, the individual is told to scratch off the coating on the back of the card to reveal the card numbers. The caller then asks for the numbers and that point has full access to the card and its entire contents.

State police advice residents to be suspicious of callers demanding immediate payment for any reason; never provide personal or financial information such as bank accounts, pin numbers or Social Security numbers to anyone who emails or calls unsolicited; do the research — look up phone numbers and contact the company or agency that the caller claims to represent; and check any unfamiliar area codes before returning calls. Be aware that there are many 3-digit area codes that connect callers to international telephone numbers, especially 876.

Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers or Green Dot MoneyPak card numbers to someone you do not know. Utility companies and government agencies will not contact you demanding immediate payment by MoneyPak.

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