John J. Bryfonski, Chief of Police
55 Constitution Drive
Bedford, NH 03110
For Immediate Release
Monday, Jan. 30, 2017
Contact: Tricia Tiedt
Bedford Police Caution Residents, Seniors Against Recent Phone Scams
BEDFORD — Chief John J. Bryfonski and the Bedford Police Department are warning residents of ongoing phone scams and remind community members to never give out their personal or financial information to a person they do not know or whose identity cannot be verified.
Over the past month, Bedford Police received multiple reports from citizens regarding elaborate phone scams. Two residents were tricked into wiring money at a local department store because they were led to believe their loved ones had been arrested and needed money for bail.
Another resident was called by scammers impersonating the IRS. The scammers demanded payment via wire transfer and threatened arrest should the money not be sent.
“Residents should always take the time to verify where and to whom their money is being sent,” Chief Bryfonski said. “Never conduct a wire transfer if you are not completely confident that the funds are for a legitimate purpose and will reach their intended source. If a relative or friend supposedly needs money, make sure to talk specifically to them so you do not fall prey to these increasingly elaborate scams. Anytime you receive a call and you are concerned or in doubt about the truthfulness of the call, you should immediately contact the Bedford Police Department.”
If a victim gives away a pre-paid debit card number, or makes a wire transfer or money order, the money is gone and lost forever, and there is usually no way to recover those funds.
If you receive a call from a phone scammer, hang up. Do not engage with these callers.
Common scams that target residents – specifically senior citizens – include:
- IRS Impostors: Callers contact you demanding immediate payment for back taxes.
- Arrested Relative: Scammers contact you claiming that a friend or relative has been arrested and needs bail money.
- Kidnapped Relative: Scammers call to report a friend or relative has been kidnapped and a ransom must be paid.
- Threatened Arrest: Scammers call to tell you that you are subject to arrest (by a variety of different agencies: U.S. Marshals, FBI, etc.) and must pay to avoid arrest.
- Utility Scam: Scammers pose as bill collectors from utility companies and threaten to shut off service if you do not pay.
- Sweepstakes: Someone calls to notify you that you have won a contest or sweepstakes and must send money to collect any winnings.
- Tech Support/Malware: Someone contacts you claiming your computer needs repairs and to send money for service or asks to connect to your computer. Additionally, a pop-up can appear on your computer, stating that it is infected with malware, and to call a number to pay to remove the virus.
Anyone who has questions, concerns, or believes they are the victim of a scam is asked to contact Bedford Police at 603-472-5113.