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The original item was published from 11/18/2016 10:02:00 AM to 12/4/2016 12:00:01 AM.

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Public Safety

Posted on: November 18, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Summit Police Department Warns Residents about New Phone / Social Media Scam

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The Department has received reports of a new phone and social scam during which victims are being asked to pay money in exchange for the protection of a relative.

During the course of the past several weeks, the Summit Police Department has been made aware that some residents are receiving threatening phone calls and text messages during which an unknown caller demands money in exchange for the protection of a family member from harm or public embarrassment.

During these phone calls and messages, residents have reported that the caller will claim that they are going to harm family members if large sums of money are not paid. The caller will also send pictures via social media message or text message of the family member or their house, claiming that they know the identity of the person and where they live. These pictures are being downloaded from Facebook accounts and other social media. Others have reported that they received social media messages claiming that their reputation would be publicly ruined if they did not pay money.

The Police Department’s investigation into these calls has determined that they are scams. Should residents receive any phone calls or messages of a similar nature, the Department is asking them to disconnect the call, ignore the messages, and to report the incident to the Police. The Department also reminds residents to ensure that social media accounts are secured with a strong password and that sensitive personal information is not posted publicly.

Please be sure to report all suspicious activity to the Summit Police Department by calling the Dispatch Center at 908-273-0051. In case of an emergency, please dial 9-1-1. More information about how to protect you and your family from scams and identity theft can be found online at www.cityofsummit.org and on the Department’s social media accounts: Facebook/summitpd – Instagram @summit_pd – YouTube @CityofSummit.

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