Beware of new telephone scams

Posted at 5:50 PM, Dec 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-22 17:50:40-05

"They were looking for donations for the fallen family members for the police department," said Heather Renaud, a Lockport resident.

If you get a phone call saying something along those lines, you may want to hang up. Police say it's a new scam going around, asking for donations in the form of a one-time credit card payment. It's a scam Renaud didn't fall for.

"She was just talking really persistent," said Renaud. "Almost like I had to make a donation. I've made donations before and they've never spoken in that manner at all."

Orchard Park police posting a message on their Facebook page, warning residents in the area about the scam that's leaving some thinking twice about giving away the money in their pockets.

"I went with my gut feeling and I told her I can't do it right now," recalled Renaud, from her phone call last week. "It's Christmas time. I had a bad feeling about it."

But Cheektowaga resident, Rebecca Vincent, wishes she got that bad feeling a long time ago. She received a similar phone call Wednesday night and says that was the third scam call she's gotten within the last two months.

"I thought 'geesh, I'm lying to police people saying that I don't have any money'," said Vincent. "I better at least give them $10. I thought something was going to happen to me if I don't."

So she donated those $10 with the first phone call in October. Although she hasn't checked her bank account, Vincent says she started seeing the red flags when she kept getting the same phone calls.

"I'm never going to do this again," said Vincent. "And I feel bad because what if it's legitimate?"

7 Eyewitness News tried calling the phone number Vincent said she got the calls from and each time it reached a dead end. Police are asking that if you are receiving these calls, make sure you report it.