A pair of scam alerts were issued this week, warning Delaware residents about cons involving jury duty and fake charities.
New Castle County Police said they are investigating several reports of a telephone scam in which the caller identifies himself as a courthouse employee and attempts to collect money from residents for missing jury duty.
In each case, the caller has identified himself as “Aaron Foster” and claimed that a warrant has been issued for the resident because they missed jury duty. The caller than instructs residents to pay $100 over the phone to avoid being arrested.
Police said no legitimate court representative would call residents’ homes asking for money over the phone.
Anyone who receives such a call is instructed to immediately call the New Castle County Police Department’s non-emergency line at (302) 573-2800.
Anyone seeking to verify the identity of an alleged court official, or with questions about their jury duty status, is asked to call the courthouse at (302) 255-0824.
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden also warned state residents this week about scammers pretending to represent charities seeking donations for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
“Delawareans are always quick to answer the call for help, and we know from experience that fraudsters will try to take advantage of that generosity by setting up bogus relief organizations that claim to provide aid,” he said.
Biden’s office recommended that anyone who receives a solicitation call from a charity take the follow steps before making a donation:
n Verify the charity is legitimate by visiting the Better Business Bureau’s website at www.bbb.org, Charity Navigator’s website at www.charitynavigator.org or the American Institute of Philanthropy at www.charitywatch.org.
n Hang up on aggressive cold callers and delete unsolicited emails.
n Ask whether your donation is tax-deductable.
n Do not give cash donations and do not provide your credit card number or other personal information. If you wish to make a donation, you should pay by check and make the payment out to the charity’s full name.
n Contact the charity directly before making a donation and ask questions about the percentage of your donation that will be put to use.
Anyone who suspects they have received a fraudulent solicitation is asked to call the attorney general’s consumer hotline at (800) 220-5424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.