Be on the alert for the newest scams

Date: August 7, 2019

 



Our Ferguson Township Police Department frequently responds to calls from residents who have been approached by or become victims of scammers.

The newest local scam is a caller identifying himself as Jeremy from Direct Asphalt, claiming to be a subcontractor on the North Atherton Street project for Glenn O. Hawbaker. According to State College Police, who received complaints from residents, the caller claims he is offering paving services at a discount to local businesses. Hawbaker has confirmed the person is not a subcontractor and would not be engaged in concrete or asphalt work on North Atherton.

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On our website, you’ll find that our Police News and Police Statistics are virtual catalogs of the latest scam tactics. The victims are all ages, from students to seniors. 

Ferguson Township Police advise residents to be careful about opening suspicious email links. To make police and your fellow residents aware, report any scam attempts you experience.

Below, you’ll find an archive of news stories about scams:

Contractor Fraud
Residents who may be considering hiring a contractor to make home improvements are advised to be aware that Pennsylvania has a Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act.  Ferguson Township Police ask residents to be familiar with Pennsylvania’s requirements of contractors and to do your research before entering into an agreement or paying for a home improvement project.  

Police have investigated contractors who have accepted payment for work they did not perform, or failed to issue a refund for work they did not complete and materials they did not use. Residents also have reported contractors who charged far more than their original estimate. In one case, a driveway paving contractor told a customer the job would cost $1,500, but after completing the work, insisted the homeowner pay $7,000. 

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Social Security
Township residents reported attempts by identity thieves to create an online account with the Social Security Administration. Most are residents who are receiving Social Security benefits; each has received a letter from the Social Security Administration advising of the creation of a new account and a change of address notice.

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Google Play cards, spoofed emails, rental scams
• A resident contacted about an approved loan was instructed to pay the $3,500 processing fee via Google Play cards and completed the transaction. 
• In response to a “spoofed” email that appeared to be from a trusted vendor, a non-profit organization wired $5,500 to the suspect, falling victim to an email “phishing” scam. 
• At least 13 international students became the victim of a rental scam. Using social media, the suspect(s) pretended to be a third-party property management company. The suspect claimed the ability to offer cheaper rental rates for students. The students sent their rent payments to the fictitious company, but their rent was never paid; their losses exceeded $20,000. 

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Photo Credit: Jp Valery on Unsplash