Pittsburgh area residents warned of Jamaican phone scam

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Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. and local police are warning residents to be aware of a phone scam emanating in Jamaica.

A caller claims to work for Publisher’s Clearing House and says the person answering the phone has won a large amount of money. But to claim the prize, the person has to send a check to help cover processing fees. The caller in the scam is aggressive and has been calling some people dozens of times within the span of a few days.

The scam can be identified by the Jamaican phone exchange, 876, which shows up on a resident’s caller ID. The calls have been focused on areas around Whitehall and South Fayette, but anyone can be a target.

“Theft is a crime of opportunity and by refusing to send money or provide personal information you severely limit that opportunity,” Mr. Zappala said. “Anyone who receives this type of call needs to be aware of the details of this scam and should report the call to their local police.

“Additionally, residents are advised to contact their local phone provider and make arrangements to have calls from the 876 exchange blocked from their service.”

First Published July 23, 2014 12:00 AM

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