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February 17, 2014

Police warn of new phone scam

ALVA — A new phone scam has been reported in Ada.

About 15 people have called the Ada Police Department to report the scam in which callers claim they represent Publishers Clearing House or a similar company, according to a news release from City Hall. After telling the victims that they have won a cash prize, the callers recite a series of numbers including a personal identification number.

The callers then ask the victims to supply personal information and pay a small fee in order to collect the prize, according to the news release. But the call is a hoax, and people should not give the callers personal information or send them money.

Authorities are warning residents to remain vigilant and keep a close eye on their accounts.

People who have been cheated over the phone find that it’s very difficult to get their money back. So before you buy anything over the phone, keep these tips from the FBI in mind:

• Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company. Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply.

• Check out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency, the Better Business Bureau, the Oklahoma attorney general’s office, the National Fraud Information Center or other watchdog groups.

• Always take your time in making a decision. Legitimate companies won’t push you to make a snap decision.

• Don’t pay for a so-called “free prize.” Callers who tell you the payment will cover the taxes are violating federal law.

• Never send money or divulge personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, dates of birth or Social Security numbers to unfamiliar companies or callers.

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