ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (SHNEYE'-dur-muhn) is warning seniors to be wary of new phone schemes demanding money through gift cards or pre-paid debit cards.

The attorney general's office released a consumer alert Thursday after an influx of complaints that scam artists posing as IRS agents or family members are defrauding elderly residents by requesting they buy gift cards and read the barcodes to scammers over the telephone.

Schneiderman's office says residents should always be suspicious of strangers asking for money, even if they claim to be bank or credit card representatives.

Schneiderman says his office will work with the Retail Council of New York State, the American Association of Retired Persons, credit card companies and banks to protect and educate consumers about the new threat.


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