New York State Police is again reminding the public to be on the lookout for con-artists and scams, and they say if you're being asked for this, someone is trying to rip you off.

This is especially true if someone calls you claiming to be an official with the IRS, Social Security, the U.S. Marshal's Office or another government agency. Often, they'll even use scare tactics - they might even claim there is a family emergency and quick action is required, police say.

However, despite this obvious and dead giveaway, many still fall victim.

If someone asks you for payment via gift card, IT IS A SCAM, according to police.

In fact, Troopers say just last month a they were alerted to a scam attempt in the Binghamton area. An elderly man was at a Dollar General purchasing a large sum of Google Play gift cards, and was on the phone with someone while doing so. A store employee sensed something was afoul and called 911. Turns out, the man had received a phone call from someone claiming to be a U.S. Marshal and told his near-victim that a vehicle in his name was involved in a crime in another state. There was now a warrant for the man's arrest, the faux-Marshal said.

To make the situation good, he'd need to go out and buy a large amount of Google Play gift cards, then after purchasing them would have to read off the serial number on the back of each of the cards. Fortunately, the fraud was foiled before the man could be ripped off.

Police also remind everyone not to give out your personal information over the phone, do not allow someone to remotely connect to your computer, and do not cash check you are not anticipating.


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