Malden Police have seen a spike in reports of telephone-related fraud, according to a police press statement.
A suspect will use one of multiple fictitious scams to convince the victim to send money by way of store purchased credit cards (some are known as “green dot” cards), according to the statement. Suspects can be convincing in their attempts to fraudulently obtain funds via telephone, the statement adds.
"Suspects will insist they have a relative of the victim and will not release them until a ransom is made," reads the statement. "This may be through the person being in jail (bond money) or simply held hostage.
"Another scam involves suspects targeting citizens on visas and demanding they send money to the INS agent on the phone to prevent deportation. A third series of calls involve a gas company employee demanding “green dot” or store purchased cards...to prevent a disconnection of service. Other fraud attempts target the elderly."
The common thread in all telephone fraud is the requests or demands to wire money telephonically, according to the statement. Law enforcement, businesses, and/or bail bondsmen will never ask for money over the telephone, and residents should contact police and report the suspicious activity, the statement adds.