MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The Middletown Police Department has issued a warning to its citizens about recent phone scams that have been occurring. Police have been receiving complaints about the following scams:
JCP&L scam: Residents and business owners have been receiving calls from persons fraudulently representing themselves as employees of the Jersey Central Power and Light Company. The caller informs the victim that they owe money on their electric bill and if they don’t pay their electric will be turned off.
The caller then advises the victim to purchase Green Dot Money Packs and to call back and provide the caller with the serial numbers of the Green Dot Cards which enables the caller to obtain the money from the cards. When the victim calls back the caller does answer the phone JCP&L. However, they are not employees of the company.
Residents are advised that they do not purchase the Green Dots Cards or provide information to anyone who calls over the phone without confirming their identity. Residents should contact JCP&L directly if they have any questions regarding their bill or if they believe they owe money.
Microsoft scam: This scam involves a caller contacting victims and advising them that they are receiving error reports from the victim’s computer at the Microsoft help center. They then ask residents to allow them to remotely access their computer. This enables them to gain access to all the personal and financial information contained in the computer.
Residents are advised not to provide any personal information over the phone or to allow anyone to access their computer. Microsoft has no way to know you are having computer problems unless you personally contact them.
IRS scam: This scam involves a caller contacting a victim and advising them that they owe money from their tax returns. The caller then advises the victim to purchase money orders and provides an address to mail the alleged owed funds.
The IRS does not contact persons delinquent on their taxes over the phone. Please do not provide any information to anyone claiming to be from the IRS over the phone and do not mail them money orders. Contact the IRS directly if you have any concerns about your tax returns.
Grandparents scam: This scam involves a caller contacting an elderly resident and pretending to be their grandchild. They advise the caller that they have been arrested (normally in a foreign country or out of state) and request that the victim wire them bail money.
Please do not wire anyone money who calls over the phone. If you have a concern that a grandchild has been legitimately arrested contact them direct and verify.
Police advise residents to take extra caution in speaking with callers over the phone. Residents should contact companies directly if they have any concerns and should be suspicious of anyone asking for money over the phone. Residents who believe they are victims of any scam should report it to their local police department who can provide further guidance.