Robert Bongiorno, Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2019
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Bedford Police Warn Residents of Phone Scam
BEDFORD — Chief Robert Bongiorno would like to alert the community to a phone scam that cost a local woman $6,000 this week.
At approximately 6:55 p.m. Thursday, a resident reported to the Bedford Police Department that she had fallen victim to a phone scam. After receiving a phone call from a man claiming to be associated with the ‘USA police,’ she was told her husband was being detained for money laundering and would be extradited if she took any other calls.
The caller instructed the woman to pay her husband’s bail with $6,000 worth of Apple iTunes gift cards. She unfortunately purchased the gift cards, provided the caller with their pin codes, and lost the money.
Chief Bongiorno would like to warn residents that the caller’s phone number was 202-996-4469, and is frequently associated with phone scams.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing more and more phone scam variations crop up recently, and Bedford is not alone,” Bongiorno said. “This is a problem many communities are facing. Residents can protect themselves by being wary of unfamiliar callers. Never pay a caller with gift cards, and do not share personal information with an unknown caller.”
To help people protect themselves from similar scams, the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) offers several tips on it’s website, including the following:
- Do not take calls from unknown numbers.
- Caller ID is not always accurate. A call from a “local” number might not be coming from a local person or organization.
- Do not share personal, identifying information like social security numbers, account numbers, or mother’s maiden names.
- If a caller claims to represent an organization and you are doubtful, hang up and contact that agency to verify whether the call was truly from a representative.
- Never pay a caller with a gift card.