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Thursday, July 18, 2024

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Prosecutor Warns of Increase in Phone Scams

Prosecutor Warns of Increase in Phone Scams

From the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office

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COURT HOUSE – Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland and Cape May County Sheriff Robert Nolan would like to alert the public of an increase in telephone scams attempting to get money from residents throughout Cape May County.

According to Sutherland, these phone scams involve calls from individuals portraying to be members of Law Enforcement like the DEA or the county Sheriff’s Department claiming that you have a warrant for your arrest and have to provide them cash in order to avoid going to jail. Other calls involve the individual saying you missed a Jury Duty Notice and have amassed fines that require you to pay cash in order to avoid being arrested. These calls are phone scams attempting to defraud you of money and are not legitimate.

Prosecutor Sutherland said if you receive one of these calls to immediately contact your local police department and report the incident along with the phone number you received the call from. Do not agree to meet the caller and provide them cash.

Prosecutor Sutherland also said Cape May County law enforcement authorities will not reach out to individuals via telephone demanding payment for warrants (or any other cause), over the telephone.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) monitors these and other phone scam calls and shared a website for reporting these incidents as listed below:

https://www.fcc.gov/robocalls

The (FCC) also shared the following tips on dealing with scam phone calls:

– Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.

– If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.

– Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with “Yes” or “No.”

– Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.

– If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.

– Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.

– If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.

Prosecutor Sutherland advises that any individuals who are in doubt of the authenticity of a phone call to contact their local police department or the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office at (609) 465-1135 for further assistance.

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