New York State Police are alerting the public to a phone scam affecting residents in the Canandaigua and Rochester areas. Callers are falsely claiming to be troopers investigating the recipients for drug crimes, asking for personal information and ultimately demanding money.
Authorities emphasize that the New York State Police do not solicit money or information by phone, and have issued guidelines to help protect citizens from falling victim to such scams:
- Take a moment to assess the situation. Scammers often create a sense of urgency to exploit victims’ emotions and their concern for family members.
- Verify any alleged emergency by contacting friends and family before sending money, even if the caller has warned against it.
- If the caller claims to be a bail bondsperson, ask where the relative is being held and contact the facility directly.
- If the caller claims to be a law enforcement officer, obtain the exact agency name, hang up, and call that department directly.
- Be wary of unexpected calls requesting money transfers.
- Avoid sending cash through the mail.
- Refrain from purchasing pre-paid debit cards or gift cards for the purpose of transferring money.
- Establish a secret code or “password” with family members for phone identity verification.
- Ask a question only the real family member would know, such as the name of their first pet.
- Set social media privacy settings to limit information available to scammers, including the names of relatives.
By following these precautions, residents can better protect themselves from phone scams and avoid falling prey to criminals seeking to exploit their emotions and trust.
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