SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

August 15, 2013

Police: Beware of class-action lawsuit scam

SALEM — Police are warning residents to be cautious of anyone who calls regarding a class-action suit against Publishers Clearing House.

An 89 year-old Salem resident recently received fraudulent calls from men who impersonated FBI agents and an officer from the Salem Police Department, claiming she was owed $600,000 from a class-action suit against Publishers Clearing House.

Salem Police issued an alert yesterday cautioning residents against the scam.

“Citizens should be suspicious of any contact they did not initiate on their own concerning money or any items of value,” police wrote in a press release yesterday. “Please be aware of this fraudulent activity as the suspect(s) may try the scam from a different number or change tactics.”

On Tuesday, the callers asked the Salem resident to send $1,400 to the Bank of Mexico via Western Union to claim her $600,000 settlement. The woman became suspicious and asked the caller to send the information to the Salem Police Department to be reviewed, police said.

A short time later, the woman received a call from a male using the true name of a Salem police officer who told her he had reviewed the information and verified it was legitimate, police said. However, the phone number on the resident’s caller ID was not the Salem Police Department.

Any suspicious calls should be reported to the Salem Police Department at 978-744-1212.

— Bethany Bray

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