HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – During the pandemic there has been a serious increase in the number of reported scam calls that use threats of arrest or disruption of power and identity theft to steal funds from prospective victims, according to Hunterdon County Sheriff Fred W. Brown.
“Deceptive tactics, such as a threat of arrest and electricity being shut off or credit cards and checks being fraudulently ordered, disrupts an individual’s sense of security and causes many victims to feel embarrassed,” Brown said.
Current scams that are being reported include:
- Former County Sheriff’s Officers names are being used to lure residents into paying
$3,000 to avoid being arrested for missing jury duty; please note, funds are never
collected to avoid arrest, only afterwards.
- Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), and the threat of electricity being shut off within
an hour if funds for a new power meter are not paid over the phone immediately.
- Credit cards and checks are being issued to fraudulent individuals resulting in identity theft, which can take several months, or longer, to clear off a victim’s credit and personal records.
“The scams are not new, but each time several people fall victim to their fear tactics and lose thousands of dollars. Residents should remember to never give out personal information over the phone or pay funds electronically to anyone over the phone or internet. Residents should hang up and call their local police department to report the attempted scam call instead of losing funds,” Brown said.
If a fraudulent credit card or fake checks are received, victims should notify the Federal Trade Commission, and notify the United States Postal Service (USPS) if fraudulent products are received in the mail.
“Staying informed about the scams is the best way to protect yourself,” Brown said.