The Verona Police Department is warning about scams after fraudulent emails and phone calls cost residents nearly $36,000 in the last two weeks.
In detailing the scams, the VPD said a resident got an email that she believed was sent from her antivirus security company. She responded to the email, which ultimately led to a loss of $14,500. In the second incident, the resident received an email that he believed was sent from his power company. The email reported that his account was delinquent and that he should contact the number listed on the email.
In the third incident, the resident was contacted on their home phone by what they believed was a phone company representative who said they were entitled to a refund. In the fourth incident, the resident was contacted by someone who they believed to be a bail bondsman looking for cash to release their grandchild.
Yesterday, Det. TJ Conroy interrupted a further loss from one of the victims by quickly working with financial institutions, preventing an additional $8,000 loss.
“If you receive an email from anyone, including but not limited to your bank, power company, government entity looking for a response, do not reply directly,” the VPD said. “Contact them through confirmed website information or customers service numbers.”
The VPD wants residents to take the same precautions with phone calls. If you get a call from a power company looking for an overdue balance, do not do any transaction on that call. Instead, call the power company on the number you have on your bill that you know to be legitimate. Tell its representative about the call you received and ask them to determine if the billing information is correct.
Finally, the VPD said that it is unaware of any utility company, credit company, or government agency that accepts gift cards, digital currency, or Bitcoin. “If someone asks for these types of payments, you should assume fraud,” the police said. “If you are in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact the Verona Police for assistance before sending any money.” The main non-emergency number for the VPD is (973) 239-5000, or you can contact the Detective Bureau directly at (973) 857-4819.