MANCHESTER NH – Police have issued a reminder to residents to be particularly aware of the prevalence of phone scams that target unsuspecting victims seeking financial gain.
“Phone scams are becoming very common, and Manchester is no exception. We want to be proactive about getting the message out and also give advice,” said Public Information Officer Heather Hamel.
Such scams come in all forms, with the scammer telling a convincing story that ultimately leads to the victim sending money to a predetermined address. A common scam circulating right now involves someone calling the victim and claiming to be a police officer or lawyer. This person informs the victim they are in trouble and need to pay a fine or bail for the charges to be dropped.
Often times the scammer will tell the victim to purchase gift cards as payment for whatever issue they need to resolve. Government officials will not ask for gift cards. In general, if anyone ever asks for payment via gift card, be wary.
Manchester Police recommend that anyone who receives a suspicious call, who has fallen victim to this scam, or knows someone who has, immediately call the company that the gift card is from. Ask the company to freeze the card. You can do this by providing the card number. Always do this BEFORE calling the police. By the time people typically call the police, the cards are already liquidated.
Also, government officials will not ask for gift cards. In general, if anyone ever asks for payment via gift card, be wary.
For those of you who have loved ones who may be vulnerable and fall victim to this, please pass this message along, particularly those who are not engaged on social media and may not be aware of the high probability that such a phone call can be a scam.