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Madison police warn against phone scams

Chief of Police Larry Muncey and Madison officers warn residents about ploys by telephone scam artists during the holiday season. (CONTRIBUTED)
Chief of Police Larry Muncey and Madison officers warn residents about ploys by telephone scam artists during the holiday season. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Even a telephone can serve as a tool for thieves during the Christmas and New Year’s season, officers in Madison Police Department warn.

“The police department reminds citizens this holiday season about the increased potential for being contacted by scam artists,” Chief of Police Larry Muncey said.

One very common scam is for a scan artist to contact an unsuspecting individual by telephone and demand payment to be made to avoid arrest or legal action.

Muncey stated common threads shared by almost all telephone scam artists:

* The caller has a foreign accent, mispronounces common words and may know your name and address.

* The telephone connection is poor with excessive static, delays in speaking, presence of background noise or other voices in the background.

* The caller claims to work for an obscure branch of the government or claims to represent a relative who is in trouble.

* The caller claims that you or a relative is involved in an enforcement action or legal proceedings.

* The caller likely requests that you purchase a Money Pak, Green Dot or similar pre-paid credit card at a store and read the number to them by phone.

“Always think twice before following a strange caller’s instructions to send or wire money using a pre-paid credit card or wire-transfer service,” Muncey said. “Write down their name, location and callback number and research the matter with close friends, family or law enforcement before acting.”

Madison Police Department is located in City Hall at 100 Hughes Road. For non-emergency situations, call 256-772-5658. For more information, visit madisonal.gov and click “Department” and “Police.”

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