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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Indiana AG warns consumers of three phone scams

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller on Friday warned Hoosiers of three phone scams being reported by consumers.

Posted on May. 17, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on May. 17, 2013 at 6:26 p.m.

ELKHART — Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller on Friday shared information on the three phone scams reported to his office most frequently.

In a news release on May 17, Zoeller said his office has received more than 5,100 complaints of scams since January 2013.

More than 920 consumers have reported receiving an automated call from a woman from “cardholder services” offering to lower interest rates on the consumer’s credit cards. If the consumer follows through with the prompts, he or she will be connected to a representative who collects an upfront payment “without any intention of providing services or a refund,” the release said.

More than 370 complaints have been filed this year regarding an automated call offering a free home security system. The call references a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on home break-ins. The telemarketers have no relationship with the federal government and will take consumers’ information and sell it to a home security company that may charge up to $45 per month for monitoring services.

More than 110 consumers have reported receiving calls from a live caller claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. The caller informs the person that they have won $2 million and must transfer $250 in fees and taxes to claim their prize.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department posted a warning on its Facebook page Friday related to the Publishers Clearing House scam.

According to the post, the Middlebury Police Department has received numerous reports from residents who say the caller told them they have won $800,000 and a luxury car and ask for $950 in prepaid Visa cards to claim the prize.

Zoeller advises consumers to sign up for the “Do Not Call” list at www.IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 888-834-9969.

To file a complaint regarding telemarketing scams or unwanted calls, visit www.IndianaConsumer.com and click “file a complaint.”

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