New scam: Don’t believe ‘Attorney General’ demanding payment
Beware: New Jersey's acting Attorney General does not make calls demanding immediate payment on overdue bills.
The office of John J. Hoffman issued an alert about the a scam. in which a demand for payment is made for someone claiming to be Hoffman.
"These unabashed scams are attempts by con artists to enrich themselves by creating a sense of fear and a false urgency so that victims will respond immediately and send money,” Hoffman said in a statement. Most scam calls are an attempt to defraud consumers or obtain personal information.
Steve Lee, acting director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs, warns that calls made threatening arrest unless payment is made are clearly frauds.
“Don’t send money out of panic or fear. Take a moment to think through whether the person calling is really who he says he is," said Lee, noting that scammers sometimes use secrecy to prevent people from discussing the ploy.
Similar scams are often employed by people pretending to be various forms of law enforcement, or by large companies. People contacted by such entities are generally advised to contact the companies directly using known, legitimate channels and report suspicious activity to law enforcement.
Lee advises that one should never send money, give personal or financial information, click a link or open an attachment without verifying the information independently.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of marketplace abuse, can file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.