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January 27th, 2014


Burlington Police Issue Phone Scam Warning


Burlington Police Issue Phone Scam WarningBurlington, Massachusetts. – The Police Department within Burlington have issued a warning to local residents of 2 phone scams that have returned to the area. Social media websites seem to be the main target, which is been used by the perpetrators to research potential victims.

The first phone scam is known by residents and authorities as the “Grandparent Scam”. This involves the fraudsters posing on the phone as the grandchild to the victim, who is in trouble of some kind and requests cash as an emergency. It has been reported that the Grandparent receives the call or email from their Grandchild, usually late in the evening when people are less likely to be thinking straight. The Grandchild claims to have been arrested in a foreign country, mugged or involved in an accident and needs cash immediately via Money Gram or Western Union.

Alternatively, the same “Grandparent Scam” involves the fraudsters posing as a lawyer, a hospital doctor or the arresting officer of the Grandchild who also request that the phone scam victim sends money via Money Gram or Western Union. This has local authorities worried due to the nature of the scam as funds that have been wired are untraceable and cannot be returned. These particular cases can be a huge financial loss to the victim and generally cost thousands of dollars.

“If you receive a call where someone is contacting you for money, you should resist the pressure to act quickly and try to contact the grandchild or another family member to determine whether or not the call is legitimate. Never wire money based on a request over the phone or in an e-mail”, says Local Authorities.

The second phone scam is known by residents and authorities as the “IRS Scam”. This scam targets not only local resident but immigrants who have recently moved to the area. The phone scam involves the fraudsters posing as an employee of the IRS who claim that the victim owes taxes and must pay immediately via a wire transfer or prepaid debit card. If refused, the fraudsters threaten to confiscate a drivers license, deport or arrest the victim.

It is reported that the fraudster may know the last 4 digits of the victims social security number and the actual caller ID is said to be shown as a number operated by the IRS. Many have reported that a second call is usually made, who claim to be a Burlington police officer, which also shows a caller ID operated by the Burlington Police Department. To verify the authenticity of the call, ask their last name and call the Burlington Police Department on 781-272-1212.

The IRS will generally contact people via mail, if unpaid taxes are requested and will never request any payments via wire transfer or pre-paid debit card. The IRS will also not ask for credit card details over the phone, so if a call is received and the person claims to be with the IRS who is demanding a payment via these methods, hang up the phone and contact the IRS directly on 1-800-829-1040.


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