FLPD: Beware of Phone Scams From Non-Area Numbers
Fair Lawn police have released a public service announcement after multiple borough residents received scam calls on Thursday from out of area numbers.
The information below was provided by the Fair Lawn Police Department following three reported scam calls placed to residents Thursday, including one that escalated from a phone call hoax into what police believed was a bank robbery:
The Fair Lawn Police wish to warn the public of this type of scam where an unknown caller makes contact, states that they have a loved one as hostage while making demands for ransom money to be delivered. All three incidents involved calls based in the Maryland area or rerouted through the Maryland area. The public is urged to be wary of calls such as this and to report the incident as soon as possible to their local police, especially if the call originates outside of the tri-state area.
The public should also refrain from volunteering any personal information regarding their personal life; rather they should ask the caller who they have and force them to provide the information. In each case the callers were able to pull the scam off because the victims volunteered information or corrected statements made by the caller.
The two cellular numbers are:
1) 312-206-5134 (Cingular Wireless- Chicago, IL)
2) 301-653-5495 ( Cingular Wireless- Waldoff, MD)
For example, the caller may ask, "Who is this?" If you reply that your name is Zak, then he might say, "Hey Zak, we have your brother." If you say, "But I don't have a brother," then he might pretend to speak with his kidnap victim and say "Who are you then if you're not his brother? You're the brother-in-law? What's your brother-in-law's name, Zak?" And so on.
Sgt. James Corcoran said if the caller asks personal questions of you, turn it on them and make them answer. For instance, "Who do you have? You have my brother? If so, what's his name and what does he look like? I want to talk to him."
If you do receive a call from someone claiming to have a relative hostage and you feel it is legitimate, immediately have someone call the police.