Harper WoodsJune 29, 2012
Scam artists continue trying to target seniors
By April Lehmbeck
C & G Staff Writer
HARPER WOODS — Police efforts to reach out to residents to keep them alert for possible scam artists are working.
Two senior citizens received phone calls from scam artists claiming to be police detectives so they could fish for information June 22. The seniors became suspicious and cut the callers off without giving out their information.
“Both were very on guard,” Police Chief James Burke said. “We’re very glad that these scams weren’t completed.”
Burke said there are local communities where senior citizens are getting scammed out of thousands of dollars, and it’s important for residents to be careful.
“We’re very glad the public is on guard,” Burke said of these latest reports of Harper Woods residents contacting police about scam callers. “There are very organized groups of scam artists out there.”
Police are asking residents not to give out personal information to any callers they don’t know. Some common scams include telling elderly people that their loved ones are in jail and need money. Police ask that residents hang up and call to check with family members in such instances.
The latest incidents involved callers saying they were a “Captain Dembrowski” in one call and “Captain Jack” in the other, according to information police released on Nixle.com.
The fake detectives asked for information on bank accounts, weapons and other valuable items in the home, and if the homes had security systems.
“Both residents were suspicious of the claims and hung up before any personal information was divulged,” police stated on Nixle.com.
Police are asking residents, if they receive such calls, not to give out any information, but to ask for the officer’s name and do some research to make sure the call is actually from police.
“The police officer will understand and appreciate your attempt at preventing fraud,” police stated on Nixle.com. “Never call back the number they provide to you until you have verified the accuracy first.”
Police are also asking residents to get the word out about possible scam artists to any senior citizens they know so that others can be on alert.
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