SCAM REMINDERS (PLEASE SHARE WITH ELDERLY FAMILY AND FRIENDS)
1) Never allow anyone into your home who has arrived unexpectedly and claims to be from a water company, PSE&G, FEMA, or any other public or private entity, without first verifying the validity of the visit with the company itself. With the exception of an emergency situation, utility companies will always schedule a visit ahead of time. In the wake of the flooding caused by Hurricane Ida, someone arriving at your home and claiming to be from FEMA or some other disaster relief organization, should serve as a major red flag. Unless there was a previously scheduled visit, legitimate members of these organizations do not go "door to door" making random visits to residential areas.
2) Never make a payment to anyone or any organization without first verifying the validity of the company and origin of the bill in question. Utility companies do not solicit payment over the phone. Also, in the absence of receiving an official written notification, any threat made regarding the deactivation of a certain utility service should serve as an immediate indication that the incident is a scam. Lastly, legitimate companies will NEVER ask for payment in the form of CASH money, "Green Dot" cards, "I-Tunes" cards, or any type of gift card. If any of these payment options are discussed, the incident is undoubtedly a scam. Hang up the phone and file a police report.
3) Any phone call received regarding a grandchild or family member in distress, either as the result of a DWI arrest, kidnapping, warrant arrest, immigration issue, and/or any other type of immediately dire situation, is a SCAM - regardless of whether the caller claims to be from a law enforcement agency or attorney's office. What should you do if this happens to you?
Hang up the phone immediately, and then, to remove all doubts, contact your family to ensure that everyone is safe. Immediately afterward, contact the police to file a report. DO NOT TRANSFER MONEY IN ANY FORM TO ANYONE!!
4) When someone unfamiliar to you arrives at your home, do not open the door. Instead, speak to them through a window or speaker (if equipped). When in doubt, contact the police department and we will dispatch officers to check on the validity of the individual or individuals present. For a real time issue that appears to be scam related, contact 911. For non-emergency issues or issues that have occurred in the past, contact 973-470-5911.
Any other questions or concerns regarding scams can be directed to the Clifton Police Detective Bureau @ 973-470-5908.
Stay vigilant and safe,
The Clifton Police Department