Toms River Police Warn of Ongoing Phone Scams
Never give your name, address or social security number over the phone. That warning comes from Toms River police in the wake of several ongoing phone scams.
Toms River Police Department Community Affairs Officer Ralph Stocco said criminals pretending to be computer repair technicians have called homeowners offering free scans to detect viruses.
"And then they wind up getting you to turn on your computer and get you to type in a password, and then they have full access to your computer and unknowingly to the victim, they steal their personal information," Stocco said.
Other scams involve con-artists posing as phony representatives from the Internal Revenue Service or Jersey Central Power & Light with the hopes of obtaining people's personal information over the phone.
Unsuspecting victims are duped into thinking they're late on their electric bill or that there has been a processing error to get people to make a payment through pre-paid Red Dot debit and credit cards, according to Stocco.
"What we found is a new twist on this scam.Somehow through some computer records, they know exactly what your last bill was, so it lends an air of legitimacy to it," he said.
Phony IRS agents also try to convince people that they owe tax money or that they're getting a tax refund to access personal information.
"If somebody calls you unsolicited by you, you probably don't need that service anyway, so don't fall for that," Stocco said. "And always do business with reputable people and get referrals. You could always contact your local police department if you had any doubts and you could always get back to the person. Take their name and their phone number."
Being on the "Do Not Call" list also doesn't guarantee protection, police warn.
"You have to remember the only people in businesses that are going to honor the 'Do Not Call' list are honest business people," Stocco said.