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Post date: January 27 2015

A.G. Schneiderman Warns Consumers Against Scammer Posing As Official From Attorney General’s Office

Scammer Threatening Consumers Across New York State With False Claim Of Lawsuit And Arrest

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office has been alerted to a scam involving an individual posing as a representative of the Attorney General’s Office. The scammer is threatening consumers with a lawsuit and possible arrest and instructs consumers to call 347-779-0198, a number that is associated with other phone scams nationwide. One Syracuse area consumer reported that the scammer told him that he was going to be arrested in connection with a lawsuit and needed to call the provided number to communicate about the litigation. The voicemail associated with this number falsely purports to be that of Attorney Sam Wilson from the Attorney General’s Office. 

“Consumers should remain vigilant against unsolicited phone calls and should never provide sensitive personal information to individuals they do not know and trust,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Government agencies will never solicit personal information over the phone and consumers should report suspicious phone calls in order to hold these scammers accountable.”

Attorney General Schneiderman warns that this particular call is a fake and has no connection to the Attorney General’s Office. Consumers should not return this call to the number provided and should be aware that the Attorney General’s Office would never notify any individual or business about pending litigation in a telephone call. Scammers frequently try to scare their victims into giving up personal information and money by claiming to be official government agencies threatening arrest or lawsuits. Scammers often target immigrant communities and threaten victims with deportation or arrest.

Tips for Consumers to Avoid Telephone Scams

Think Of The Telephone As A “One Way Street”

It’s okay to give out information over the phone if you made the call to a number you know and trust (such as your own bank). However, never give out personal information when you receive an unsolicited call. If you receive a call soliciting personal information, just hang up the phone, no matter what the caller ID says. If the caller says he’s from your bank and is checking on possible unauthorized withdrawals from your account, hang up the phone and then call your bank. If it was your bank that was trying to call, then it will be happy to confirm the call and will often provide requests to you in writing. If your bank says it wasn’t trying to reach you, that means the caller you hung up on was a scammer.

Beware If A Caller Ask To Keep A Conversation A Secret

A legitimate caller will never request that a conversation remain a secret, and you should immediately be suspicious. Whether the caller claims to be from the government, a bank, or a family member, requests for confidentiality should raise a red flag.

Just Say No!

You don’t have to be polite when you receive unsolicited phone calls. The safest thing to do is to say “no” and hang up. Legitimate callers will typically also provide requests in writing. It is better to be guarded than to fall victim.

Remember the old adage: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Be wary of any offers or deals that sound too good to be true, as they likely are too good to be true.

Individuals should contact the Federal Trade Commission to report such solicitations at (877) FTC-HELP or www.ftc.gov. To report any type of telemarketing fraud, consumers can contact the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 771-7755 or www.ag.ny.gov.