Swindling scams sweep through city

Police are investigating two scams this week.

If you get a phone call telling you that you’ve won a hefty prize, it’s probably a hoax.

Boston Police are warning residents about an ongoing consumer scam that instructs people to purchase a re-loadable credit card and hand over the information with promises they will win a large sum of cash, or even a house.

According to police officials, victims are told by the caller to buy a Green Dot Money Pack credit card and call the suspect back with the serial number information in order to claim the alleged prize.

By giving out the serial information, the scammer then gains access to the account.

On Jan. 25, a Jamaica Plain resident said he was instructed to put $300 on a card; however, instead of calling the suspect back, he called police.

Officers urge individuals who receive a similar phone call to hang up immediately and dial 911 and never give personal information or money to an unknown caller.

A second scam surfaced Thursday after a handful of residents called Mayor Thomas Menino’s office claiming that a Rhode Island security company had visited them on behalf of the city to install a free home security system.

According to the mayor’s office, the company showed up at Hub residents’ homes stating that they worked for GE Security Systems, Versatile Marketing Solutions, Inc., and offered to install the system without a fee.

The company would then collect social security and credit card information and sign the resident up for monthly maintenance charges.

Officials are warning residents that the City of Boston has no affiliation with the company.

Jay Gotra, CEO of VMS, Inc., said technicians from his security company were subcontracted by a second company, and they were misrepresented.

Gotra said when he found out about the complaints, he terminated that agreement.

“We don’t have any sales reps or door-knockers,” he said. “We have no affiliation with [the other company] any longer.”

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear


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