Officials warn residents to beware of Union County phone scams. While anyone can be a victim, these scams typically target elderly residents. If you receive a phone call purporting to be a member of law enforcement who tells you to wire them money, don’t. This is most definitely a scam.
Union County Phone Scams
Recently, an elderly Westfield resident reported that he had received a phone call from someone claiming to be an attorney. The “attorney” informed the gentleman that his grandson had been arrested. Said grandson was supposedly in a New York jail. If the elderly man wired $1900 to cover his grandson’s bail, he could be released. Luckily, a helpful Western Union employee successfully talked him out of wiring the money. That’s the story of only one of the latest victims of Union County phone scams going around right now.
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Other Union County phone scams involve people identifying themselves as police officers. They leave messages demanding to contact them right away. Some may even leave a fake badge number. Still others say they are representatives from the IRS. They scare their victims into believing they owe back taxes and will be sued or jailed if they don’t wire money right away. Many of those most susceptible to these scams tend to be elderly. However, thieves don’t discriminate. They will target anybody.
Officials from law enforcement offices, the County attorney’s office and the IRS want you to know that they never solicit money over the phone. If you do owe money to them, you will receive a formal letter on official company letterhead via US mail. After that, there may be further contact via phone or email. But, initial email and phone contact has never been standard practice for these legal issues.
Who Do I Contact to Report a Phone Scam?
If you or anyone you know receives a phone call that you think might be a scam, contact Detective Dennis Donovan with the Prosecutor’s Office at (908) 527-4558. Detective Charles Mancuso with the Sheriff’s Office (908-527-4493) will also listen to your complaints. Please contact these gentlemen directly. Do not call 911. That number should only be used in emergencies.
Scott Gleason, CRS at Coldwell Banker Realty – East, NJ Luxury Homes