Southampton PD warns phone scams on the rise

Phone scammers attempting to swindle victims into giving them cash are getting creative and attempting calls more frequently, according to warnings issued by local police departments.

The recent uptick in attempted phone scams include a number of different scenarios designed to frighten victims into sending money through a Western Union MoneyGram or a prepaid Green Dot Card.

No government agency will ever seek payment using these means, according a release from the Southampton Police Department. Suffolk County Police issued a simliar warning Tuesday.

Police are warning the public to never respond to telephone or Internet requests for money without first speaking to a trusted friend or relative as well as the local police department, authorities said.

Scenarios include:

• Claims of a grandchild or relative getting into trouble or being involved in an accident in another country and in need of money to get out of jail.

• Callers who claim to be an agent or police officer from the Internal Revenue Service collecting past due tax balances that are owed or face arrest.

• Callers claiming to be a police officer or a warrant officer with a warrant for the victim for failing to report for jury duty. The scammer will claim that unless a fine is immediately paid, the victim will be arrested.

• Callers claiming to be officials from an electric or gas utility seeking immediate payment of unpaid bills or face their utility being turned off.

“Scammers can be very aggressive and try to frighten their victims into compliance,” according to the warning.

Should residents receive any of these types of calls, they should advise the caller they are notifying police and hang up. Contact Southampton Town police at 631-728-5000, according to the warning.