Police warn of uptick in Jamaica-based phone scams

By Tanya Mitchell | Jul 10, 2012
Source: File image

Searsport — Searsport Police Chief Dick LaHaye said the last several months have been quiet in terms of complaints regarding telephone scams, but this week complaints of those kinds of calls have picked up again in the Searsport area.

LaHaye said a local man called police to report he'd received a total of five phone calls from a number that appeared to be out of Jamaica between Friday, July 6, and Saturday, July 7. When the man answered the last call July 7, LaHaye said, a voice on the other end of the line told the man he'd won $15 million and a new Mercedes. To claim his prizes, LaHaye said, the man was directed to obtain a money order from Walmart, Walgreens or CVS and mail the money order to a processing center.

Before the caller could tell the man how much money to send to obtain his winnings, LaHaye said he did the right thing and hung up on the caller.

"We've had a little reprieve, if you will, from those kind of calls from Jamaica," said LaHaye. "For a while there we were getting at least one or two [complaints] a week, but for the last six or seven months there's been no activity. Now it seems to be heating back up again."

Police advise those who receive such calls to hang up, and never give out any personal information like bank account numbers, PIN numbers or social security numbers.

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