Chapel Hill, N.C. — The Chapel Hill Police Department has recently received reports of telemarketing scams which indicate that potential victims have won large sums of money or high-priced items.
To claim the prizes, however, the scams require victims to wire money to the scammer in order to claim their prize. In one particular scam, the calls show up as coming from an 876 area code in Jamaica.
Calling this area code causes the victims to incur large international calling fees on their telephone bill, police said. Scams like these often target the elderly and are designed to extort money from victims who never receive a prize.
The N.C. Department of Justice has recommendations for avoiding scams:
- Never share your Social Security Number, bank account or credit card information with someone you don’t know who calls you or emails you.
- Walk away from high-pressure sellers who tell you that you must make a decision right away.
- Don’t sign any contract or other paperwork until you’ve had a chance to read and understand it.
- Never pay money upfront to get a loan or win a lottery or sweepstakes.
- Don’t respond to letters or emails that ask you to help transfer money into your bank account or wire money out of the country.
- Don’t cash checks you get in the mail along with a letter or call that tells you you’ve won an unexpected prize. The checks are most likely fakes.
- Check out a company with Attorney General Roy Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM before you do business with them.
- Sign Up for the “Do Not Call Registry” - You can sign up for the Registry for free by telephone or through the Internet. To register by phone, you must call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you wish to register. To register online, go to www.DONOTCALL.gov. You must have an active email address to register through the Internet so you can receive an email that is part of the registration process.
For additional information visit the N.C. Department of Justice website.