MLPBS FORUM SERIES: SCAM ALERT
Our latest Mountain Lake PBS Forum focuses on the rash of phone scams in the North Country trying to steal people’s personal information.
We talk with banking & law enforcement experts about who’s being targeted and how people can protect themselves from becoming victims of scammers.
Steven Cacchio, President and CEO of Champlain National Bank and Glen Michaels, who is a New York State Assistant Attorney General are our guests.
We discuss the types of text and automated phone messages thieves us to try to scare or intimidate people giving out their personal information like bank card or pin numbers or even threatening them into making payments for unpaid taxes or utility bills the scammers want them to believe are overdue.
REPORT SCAMS TO NY ATTORNEY GENERAL: If you have been the target of any of these scams, if you’ve given out your bank card or pin numbers or sent money or gift cards to scammers, you should reach out to your bank, to your utility, or the New York Attorney General’s Office.
NY Attorney General: 800-771-7755 www.ag.ny.gov
REPORT SCAMS TO BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU: You can report scams to the Better Business Bureau which tracks what areas are targeted. www.bbb.org/scamtrackerupstate-new-york
NATIONAL DO NOT CALL REGISTRY: The Better Business Bureau also can help you sign up with the National Do Not Call Registry. www.donotcall.gov
IRS SCAM: If you get the call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, remember, the IRS will never call demanding you pay unpaid taxes. Any notice will come by mail. The IRS will not ask for a bank or credits card number, and will never ask you to send in payments using prepaid debit or gift cards, or ask you to wire money.
Even though the caller may threaten you,saying you’ll be arrested or a lien put on property, they are trying to scare you into giving up information or sending money. It is a scam. Here’s where you can go to report it to the IRS:
Report IRS scam calls: 800-366-4484 or www.tigta.gov
INTERNET SAFETY ZONES: Plattsburgh city police are also trying to protect people from getting robbed or ripped off when they try to sell or buy items, to and from, people they meet online on sites like Craig’s List. Sometimes those exchanges can be sketchy, so Police Chief Mike Branch has now designated a couple of parking spaces outside of the police station for those kinds of transactions. You’ll see the signs the Internet Exchange Zone. The 2 parking spots are well-lit and there are surveillance cameras. The Chief says there haven’t been complaints or problems, locally. He says it simply offers a safe place for sellers or buyers who may now be using other public places like retail parking lots. Learn more: www.cityofplattsburgh.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=104