Nassau County, NY - January 16, 2015 - Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Nassau County Police are urging citizens to be vigilant when receiving telephone solicitations requesting payment via Green Dot cards, Western Union, Money Gram or other prepaid card/money transfer companies.
“It has come to the attention of the Nassau County Police Department that individuals are once again receiving calls from persons claiming that they owe money for unpaid taxes or utility bills,” said County Executive Mangano. “In these cases individuals are contacted by scammers claiming that they are federal or utility company employees and that the individual called owes money. These victims are told they can avoid arrest, foreclosure or suspension/termination of services if they make payment to the caller using Green Dot cards, Western Union, Money Gram or other prepaid card/money transfer companies. These scams cost honest citizens thousands in unrecoverable dollars and I want to make sure you, your family and friends are aware so that you are protected.”
In another scam a caller states that an individual has missed jury duty, or a family member has been kidnapped, held hostage, or involved in an auto accident. The caller then claims to be a law enforcement officer. The victim is told to send money either through a Green Dot card, Western Union, Money Gram or another prepaid card/money transfer company to keep from being arrested or to help the family member.
In addition to these we have seen scams advising individuals that they have won large sums of money, phone calls or notifications, by mail or online, advising that individuals are approved for a loan or grant, or winners of a sweepstakes lottery. In some instances they even receive a partial bank check of the winnings that appears to be legitimate, but an up-front payment for processing fees is requested before funds can be claimed.
In another scam individuals have received calls from persons claiming that they or a family member owe money for unpaid taxes. In these cases individuals are contacted by scammers claiming that they are federal employees and that the individual called owes money. These victims are told they can avoid arrest, foreclosure or suspension/termination of services if they make payment. The IRS does not and will not ask for a credit card number over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.
This information is being provided to residents to make them aware of these ongoing scams. If you believe you may have been a victim of any of these scams, please call 911 immediately. Anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the individual(s) responsible is asked to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS (8477). All calls remain anonymous.