Nassau cops warn of phone call scammers

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Residents are advised to be wary of phone call scammers who tell them they owe money or that family members are in trouble, and they need to send money by Western Union or Green Dot cards, Nassau County police said.

People may be told they owe money for utility bills or unpaid taxes, with the scammers claiming to work for the utility company or federal government, police said Thursday in a news release.

They are told that to "avoid arrest, foreclosure or suspension/termination of services," they have to make payment through Western Union or Green Dot cards, police said in a media release aimed at alerting the public to ongoing scams.

Other scammers, possibly claiming to be law enforcement officers, say the person "missed jury duty, or a family member has been kidnapped, held hostage, or involved in an auto accident," police said.

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In some cases people are told by phone or other means that they've won money or have been approved for loans or grants -- sometimes even receiving checks for part of the amount -- and that they have to send an "upfront payment for processing fees," the release said.

Those who may have been taken in by such scams should call 911, and those who can share information leading to the arrest of scammers can call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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