Directors Points of Interest

FROM THE DIRECTOR

October 4, 2016

In newspaper accounts yesterday the Camden County Prosecutors Office announced that a phone scam has been making the rounds in their county.  The female caller posed as an employee of the prosecutor's office and advised that they needed personal information i.e.; birth dates, social security numbers, bank account information, etc.  The person reporting the scam said the caller had a 773 area code.

If any resident in Gloucester County receives a similar phone call, never give out personal information over the phone.  You should call your local police department to report the scam call.


September 2, 2016

PSE&G announced on Wednesday, August 31st that there have been reports of phone scams to try and get PSE&G customers to pay their bill immediately or risk having their service disconnected.  The scammers demand that payment be made with a prepaid debit card.  PSE&G warns that their company does not demand payment in that manner and "would never require a customer to use one type of payment over another".  Customers should call the utility if they receive such a call at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734).

September 1, 2016

Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. maker of Entenmann's products has announced a voluntary recall Wednesday of several snack products because of plastic contamination that has caused one injury.  The items include Little Bites Fudge Brownies, Entenmann's Little Bites Chocolate Chip Muffins, Entenmann's Little Bites Variety Pack.  The code number 3098 is printed next to the Best-By date for the recalled products.  Consumers with questions can call the company directly at 800-984-0989.

August 10, 2016

WALMART SCAM

Woodbury – The Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the County Office of Consumer Affairs would like to warn county residents of a previous scam from Spain to try and lure unsuspecting individuals into becoming a mystery shopper for Wal-Mart.  In the past year a group asking participation in a “Quality Control Program” on behalf of Walmart have succeeded in duping citizen into providing personal information and even exposing themselves to bank fraud and theft.

 “I know that we have received information on these types of scams before, but it never hurts to remind residents that these mailings are happening right now in our county” said Freeholder Director Robert Damminger.  Residents should know that “under no circumstances should anyone answer an ad or mail inquiry asking you to be a mystery shopper” Damminger said. 

As an angle to this ploy, the scammers use Walmart logos and promise an opportunity to make money, which is blatantly untrue.  Walmart has advised consumers that they do not participate in any type of “Mystery Shopper” programs.  The scammers also claimed, that if you deposited the check they sent you, and in turn send them a personal check from your account for $350.00, you could deposit the $1,992.65 they sent you and keep the remainder, which is purely false.  What happens? Several weeks later the bank will notify you that the check was no good and you owe the bank that $1,900 dollars.  Although this scam has been making the rounds for a couple of years, a West Deptford resident received the scam this week in the mail.  “If our residents take nothing else from these ongoing scams, please do not attempt to cash these checks, or go to websites that will capture information from your computer.  If the mailings persist please contact our office of Consumer Affairs for advice, and so we can make federal authorities aware” said Freeholder Lyman Barnes, Liaison to Consumer Affairs.

 If you would like more information on identity theft and other scams, please contact the county Office of Consumer Affairs at 856-384-6855.

 August 4, 2016

Our office continues to receive complaints from homeowners and others who have hired home improvement contractors, who either have not completed contracted work as promised, or has taken money and did nothing at all.  Some of these contractors are not registered at all, which in itself is a crime of the fourth degree.  Please call our office prior to hiring any contractor to ensure that they are registered and have no outstanding complaints pending in our office, or in the state office in Newark.

June 22, 2016

Our office has received many complaints over the years regarding the state's merchandise return policy under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.  Most return policies, as required by law, are posted either on the product itself, at checkout, or on the entrance door to the store.  Some stores print their return policies on the back of the receipt.  However, you have already purchased the item prior to seeing the policy.  That is why as an alert consumer, you check with store personnel, or at the customer help desk to inquire on that store's return policy.

Recently a consumer purchased at TV at a large nationwide chain-store and did not realize that the return policy was on the back of their receipt.  Many stores require that any damaged item be returned with in (30) days of purchase, with receipt, and many require that it be returned with the original box.  So, if you purchase an item, TV, Radio, cell phones, etc.  Take it out of the box right away and be sure that it is not damaged and is in working order.  If you let the box sit, and do not open it until after the return policy date and find that it's damaged, the store is within their rights to deny the return.  For more information on the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, or the Return Policy, please call our office.

January 28, 2016

The IRS continues to warm the public to be alert for telephone scams and offers five tell-tale warning signs to tip you off if you get such a call.  These callers claim to be with the IRS.  The scammers often demand money to pay taxes.  Some may try to con you by saying that you're due a refund.  The refund is a fake lure so you'll give them your banking information or private financial information.

These con artist can sound convincing when they call.  They may even already know a lot about you.  They may alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.  They use fake names and bogus IRS badge numbers.  If you don't answer, they often leave an urgent call back message .

The IRS respects taxpayer rights when working out payment of your taxes.  So, it's pretty easy to tell when a supposed IRS caller is a fake.  Here are five things the scammers often do, but the IRS will not do.  Any one of these five things is a sign of a scam.  The IRS does not:

1). Call you to demand immediate payment.  We will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.

2). Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

3). Require you to use a certain payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

4). Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

5). Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.

The IRS continues to warm the public to be alert for telephone scams and offers five tell-tale warning signs to tip you off if you get such a call.  These callers claim to be with the IRS.  The scammers often demand money to pay taxes.  Some may try to con you by saying that you're due a refund.  The refund is a fake lure so you'll give them your banking information or private financial information.

The IRS continues to warm the public to be alert for telephone scams and offers five tell-tale warning signs to tip you off if you get such a call.  These callers claim to be with the IRS.  The scammers often demand money to pay taxes.  Some may try to con you by saying that you're due a refund.  The refund is a fake lure so you'll give them your banking information or private financial information.

The IRS continues to warm the public to be alert for telephone scams and offers five tell-tale warning signs to tip you off if you get such a call.  These callers claim to be with the IRS.  The scammers often demand money to pay taxes.  Some may try to con you by saying that you're due a refund.  The refund is a fake lure so you'll give them your banking information or private financial information.

The IRS continues to warm the public to be alert for telephone scams and offers five tell-tale warning signs to tip you off if you get such a call.  These callers claim to be with the IRS.  The scammers often demand money to pay taxes.  Some may try to con you by saying that you're due a refund.  The refund is a fake lure so you'll give them your banking information or private financial information.

The IRS continues to warm the public to be alert for telephone scams and offers five tell-tale warning signs to tip you off if you get such a call.  These callers claim to be with the IRS.  The scammers often demand money to pay taxes.  Some may try to con you by saying that you're due a refund.  The refund is a fake lure so you'll give them your banking information or private financial information.

The IRS continues to warm the public to be alert for telephone scams and offers five tell-tale warning signs to tip you off if you get such a call.  These callers claim to be with the IRS.  The scammers often demand money to pay taxes.  Some may try to con you by saying that you're due a refund.  The refund is a fake lure so you'll give them your banking information or private financial information.

The IRS continues to warm the public to be alert for telephone scams and offers five tell-tale warning signs to tip you off if you get such a call.  These callers claim to be with the IRS.  The scammers often demand money to pay taxes.  Some may try to con you by saying that you're due a refund.  The refund is a fake lure so you'll give them your banking information or private financial information.