Del. State Police Issue Scam Alert - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. State Police Issue Scam Alert

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DOVER, Del.- Delaware State Police are warning the public to be on the lookout for scammers who make phone calls requesting or demanding money for car crashes, overdue bills, to obtain a federal grant or to receive gold. According to police, there have also been complaints made recently concerning demands for money with no formal organization identified.

Troopers gave a few examples of recent scam calls residents have received:

The most recent occurred on Aug. 1, when a 53-year-old woman told police she met someone named "Lt. Col. Danny Hampton" on ChristianMingle.com. This person was described to be in the U.S. Army and currently stationed in Afghanistan.  It was reported the person she met was going to send her $5 million in gold, which he received after helping a small town avoid terrorist capture. However, the caller told the victim that "unfortunately" the gold got held up in customs and she was required to send money in order to have it released and sent to her. Police said that after the woman wired $21,000 to various addresses, it was learned that Lt. Col. Danny Hampton did not exist.

On July 23 and 24, troopers said they investigated two complaints in which the victims received a phone call from 302-736-7035. The caller ID showed "City of Dove." The male caller told the recipients that they owed the electric company money and that if they did not pay, their electric was going to be turned off. The suspects advised the victims to go to Royal Farms and withdraw money and place it on a pre-paid credit card, police said. The suspect told the victims to call 1-877-432-9325, extension 1, once they obtain the money. 

On July 21, a concerned citizen called state police and reported a call from an unknown suspect with a heavy Middle Eastern accent, who told her that she would receive a $9,000 federal government grant because she paid her taxes, mortgage and is a good citizen.  The caller then asked for her name, address, and home phone number.  She got off the line with them and then called the number back. Police said when she started questioning them about how they got her information, the caller hung up the phone. 

On July 13, a 68-year-old victim contacted 9-1-1 and stated that an unknown person with a foreign accent called from the telephone number 240-357-2565 and informed him that his son had been in a car accident and injured another person, according to police. Police said the victim advised that the person demanded $2,000 to cover the expenses and prevent further injury to his son.  The victim stated that once the phone call was received he and his wife were able to make contact with their son and determine that he was OK, investigators said.  The victim stated that he disconnected the call once he determined his son was OK and contacted 9-1-1.

Police said the investigation into these incidents is continue at this time.

Troopers are offering the following tips to help the public avoid becoming a victim of the types of scams mentioned above:

- Do not wire money.

- Do not provide the caller with any information.

- Attempt to get the caller’s phone number and address.

- Check all the facts. If you get a call and are concerned that it may be a scammer, ask, the caller where they are calling from and call the agency.

- Google or internet search the company and check for a valid website.

- If you believe it is a scam do not cooperate with the caller.  The best thing to do is to hang up the phone.

- If something seems suspicious do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.

These scams are difficult to investigate and scammers will target persons of all age groups, police said.  

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