Summer always brings increased activity to Cape Cod, and not all of it is beneficial. Fraudsters seem to thrive along with swimmers, boaters, and the rest, leaving it to county Sheriff Jim Cummings to warn of the latest scam.
Case in point is a recent call from a local chimney sweep, alerting his Office that a telemarketer was fraudulently fundraising on behalf of the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office.
“Not so,” says the Sheriff. “We’re not fundraising for any organization or any program, and if we were it wouldn’t be a telephone solicitation.” Sheriff Cummings reminded recipients that when calls seem suspicious, it’s usually for a good reason. He also conveyed the following advice:
√ Don’t give away any information to anyone you don’t know and have no reason to trust. “Especially not Social Security numbers or credit and/or debit card numbers.”
√ If a call sounds legitimate but you’re not sure, there’s absolutely no rush to depart with your hard-earned money. Ask the caller for a website or phone number that will enable you to call back and do your own check of the organization.
√ If you do call back, ask questions, starting with “Are you currently conducting a telephone fundraiser?” If you’re still not convinced, probe deeper until you’ve satisfied your curiosity. If you’re left with the tiniest bit of doubt, don’t give away anything.
√ Hanging up on a sales call is not rude. It’s financial self-preservation. A brief word about why you’re discontinuing the call is all it takes. Simple.
Sheriff Jim Cummings (R) is the Sheriff of Barnstable County