We love our NJ police, but be very careful about this phone call (Opinion)
Something has been happening lately about which I want to post a warning.
Three times in the past two weeks I’ve received the same call from an 848 area code. That’s an overlay code for the 732 and covers places like Toms River, Lakewood, New Brunswick and other towns. So I’m not certain where this is exactly coming from. Heck, with spoofing technology it could be Reno, Nevada, for all I know.
But all three times it’s been a deep-voiced, authoritative male claiming to be with a police organization and raising money “to support police and their pension system.”
He talks quickly (think fast-talking used car salesman) and never gives an actual township or precise organization. The first two times I simply hung up, because from everything I’ve read few if any police departments do fundraising over the telephone. Calls like this are most often scams.
So Tuesday, the third time I’d received this dear-loyal-citizen pitch, I interrupted. My first indication that I was correct in thinking this was a scam came when the smooth operator just kept talking. I said excuse me twice more and finally over his ongoing sales pitch I said, “Stop talking!”
“From all that I know, police don’t fundraise over the phone in cold calls like this so you’re attempting a scam,” I said.
Now if this were a real police officer or anyone representing a real police organization what happened next would, well, never have happened next.
The deep-voiced actor told me to go f### myself and to s### his d###.
Seems conmen don’t like it pointed out that they’re bad at their game.
Now if you want to be trusting when these calls come in and bust out your banking info to a stranger, that’s up to you. All I’m telling you is many times over many articles and many years, legitimate police departments and organizations have warned the public that they don’t seek donations this way.
Law Enforcement Agencies will not call your home or business asking for donations. Please be cautious when receiving phone calls asking for money to support law enforcement foundations, bullet proof vest funds or memorial funds. There has been an increase in automated phone calls to the area requesting money on behalf of law enforcement.
The New Jersey State Policeman’s Benevolent Association has gone on record in the past saying, “We are the largest law enforcement union in the state and we do not solicit by phone. The New Jersey State Police and the Troopers Union also do not solicit by phone; it creates too much potential for fraud.”
Then there’s this warning from aarp.org. Even when there may be some slight truth to a police fundraising pitch it is often a PAC not directly a police organization and very likely that mere pennies on a dollar go towards what they claim it’s going towards.
Another fun fact: they’re often using prerecorded responses and hitting them off a soundboard to trick you into thinking you’re actually speaking with someone live.
Again, it’s up to you. But I’m certain Captain Profanity, who I had the pleasure of hanging up on today, was nothing but a rookie scam artist.
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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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