From the Londonderry Times
Police Report Uptick in Scams and Skimming Devices
Posted on March 25, 2016 by Kaitlyn G Woods
Londonderry Police have seen an uptick in scams, particularly involving elderly residents.
Det. Chris Olson said the Department has seen numerous cases of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scam, where someone calls and threatens a person with arrest if they do not pay money due to the IRS over the phone.
“The IRS will not contact you for payment by phone,” Olson said.
If there was an issue involving the IRS, they would send notice by registered letter, not by email or a phone call.
“We had a call to a grocery store from an employee who said there was an elderly woman trying to wire $2,000 to the IRS,” Olson said, noting police were able to intercede and prevent the woman from making the large payment.
“There are many variations. The caller may threaten you with arrest or court action to trick you into making a payment. Some schemes may say you’re entitled to a huge refund. These all add up to trouble,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a press release last month. “We continue to say, if you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you’re not hearing from us.”
Another scam police continue to see in Londonderry is one in which a caller claims to be the grandchild of the victim and alleges being in need of bail money. Olson said the area codes for that particular scam tend to be out of New Jersey.
Attorney Jenny Siekmann Rivard additionally warns she has worked with a number of clients who fell victim to a PayPal scam.
Victims receive an email from PayPal, which Rivard says appears authentic, informing them the company has been hacked and they should call PayPal to verify their information and protect their account.
The significant difference between an email from PayPal and those from someone trying to steal sensitive information is emails from PayPal greet their customers with their first name, according to Rivard.
In addition to the increase in scams, Olson said credit card number skimming devices have been discovered covertly installed on several self-serve pumps in the region, including on a pump at the 7-Eleven in Londonderry.
Skimming devices are used to steal credit card information and have been found on both gas pumps and ATMs, although, they’re more difficult to install on ATMs.
Olson recommends checking to see that the security tape over a pump has not been tampered with and that the flashing light indicator hasn’t been obscured. Check for inconsistencies between the appearance of the card reader on the pump being used and those of nearby pumps, as well as for any loose parts on the pump, particularly the card reader or keypad.
To be safe, Olson recommends paying inside with cash.
If a skimming device is suspected, people should call the police immediately.