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May 21, 2015 3:02 PM

NH1 News Investigates: Social Security phone scam in Dunbarton uses intimidation tactics


DUNBARTON - It's not just for older people.

Anyone with a social security number can fall prey to this scam.

And that could mean you.

“It's just pretty scary, especially when you go for the older people,” said Bob Purcell, a concerned resident.

The scam is well known to the police but not so to a lot of unsuspecting victims.

The crooks use fear, intimidation, and harassment to try and get your money.

Residents are now reacting after Dunbarton police take to Facebook.

They’re alerting them about the social security number scam.

Warning people not to cave in.

We met up with Bob Purcell at the store in Dunbarton as he played the lottery.

“Did you win?” one customer in line asked. Bob replied, “I did. I won $75.”

Purcell considers himself pretty lucky whether it’s the lottery or not being scammed.

He's yet to get the call cops are warning about.

It’s a prerecorded message from the so-called National Attorneys’ Association.

The claim?

The person is being sued for fraud.

But Bob knows better, letting those calls go right to voicemail.

“That's why I have a tape machine so I can listen to the messages and I don't have to talk to them,” he says.

So while Bob plays the numbers, we work to uncover countless complaints from people all across the country.

We found complaints like they call and harass me, threatening to garnish their wages, and that the sheriff's department would come to their house.

But what about the people making these phone calls?

We called them and getting voicemail.

When we did call, we got a voicemail telling us to leave a message.

But then, we got a message “Sorry, but the user's mailbox can't accept any more messages.”

As for Bob, he's still on a winning streak with the lottery.

“So now I'll go out and play more,” he said.

And if he happens to get that call?

“If they want information or anything from me, so then I say send it in the mail so I can read it,” Bob said.

Remember. If someone is actually going to sue you, you’ll be served an actual summons and then head to court.

Never pay money over the phone if you don’t know the person or company on the other end of the line.

Ask for proof that their claims are factual.

Dunbarton police said:

“If you receive any type of fraudulent phone call, email, etc, please call us at (603) 224-1232 to file a report. We will provide you with resources to protect your identity and privacy, as well as ways to report the fraud/scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Never provide any personal information over the phone if you think it's a scam."

Additionally, Stopfraud.gov has information on how to protect yourself from a variety of frauds and scams.


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