Kentucky State Police say they’re hoping to prevent residents from losing money in a telephone scam that’s shown up in other parts of the country. Sgt. Michael Webb says criminals overseas are auto-dialing thousands of cell phones inside the U.S. and hanging up after just one-ring.
He says the majority of those calls are coming from the Dominican Republic (809 area code), Jamaica (876), the British Virgin Islands (284), Grenada (473), Aruba (297) and Antigua (473).
“We would certainly encourage folks that if they don’t have someone that they know in one of those area code and are not expecting a call from there, to not answer it and to screen phone calls from any unknown area code right now,” said Webb.
Sergeant Webb says if you see a “missed call” from an unknown area code, it’s not a good idea to return that call, or your account could be charged $20 for the call and $9 dollars each minute. He also encourages people to check their phone bills for any unauthorized charges.
“They need to contact their cellular provider immediately if they find out that there are any unauthorized charges, said Webb. “ Especially for the overseas numbers that would be indicative of this phone scam.”
The Better Business Bureau is warning Kentuckians to avoid falling for a new scam that targets those wanting the new Apple i-Phone.
A bogus email is being reported that tells recipients that they have won an iPhone 5S through a promotional drawing, in an effort to get the would-be victim’s personal information. Similar scams are appearing on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter
“It’s absolutely bogus," said Reanna Smith-Hamblin, with the Better Business Bureau serving Louisville, southern Indiana, and western Kentucky. "Apple is not giving away free i-Phones, i-Pads, or anything of the sort. The company is not holding promotional awards, or lotteries, or drawings. So beware—if you see something like that, you can report it to Facebook as a scam.”
Smith-Hamblin says while the Apple-related scams have so far been conducted through e-mail and social media, she warns a similar phone scam is also likely in the near future.
An Owensboro man has been sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $1.6 million in restitution for a scheme to defraud investors in three states. The U.S. attorney's office said Chief U.S. Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. has also ordered 28-year-old Cory B. George to forfeit contents of three bank accounts totaling about $484,000 to be applied toward final restitution.
The attorney general's office will be sponsoring Senior Crime College programs across the state in coming weeks to teach the elderly to protect themselves against fraud, identity theft and a variety of scams. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said the events are intended to educate seniors about unscrupulous sorts who would cheat them.
A northeastern Kentucky sheriff says out-of-state callers are trying to get personal information and money by telling people they failed to appear in court for jury duty. Lewis County Sheriff Johnnie Bivens says multiple residents have complained about receiving phone calls from someone claiming they had been previously called for jury duty but failed to appear. Bivens says the caller then claims an arrest warrant has been issued.
Officials with the Better Business Bureau say consumers who want to donate to help storm vicitims in the region should do a little background checking before they give money to organizations they don't recognize. Vice President of Communications Reanna Smith-Hamblin says on-line and door to door solicitations are sometimes used by con artists who are trying to steal someone's identity or get their cash.