Hopewell Township released a video Friday in which Deputy Mayor Michael Ruger talks about scams and how to avoid them. The video is here. The transcript follows:
Hi. I’m Michael Ruger, Deputy Mayor of Hopewell Township.
Over the past few months we’ve seen the best of so many people as we’ve worked together to fight an unprecedented crisis.
Unfortunately, whenever there is a crisis, there are always a few bad people ready to exploit it.
Please be on the alert for COVID-19 related scams These scams can come by phone, email, text, or be online.
The Federal Trade Commission reports that over $30 million has been lost nationwide to COVID-19 related scams as of mid-May. New Jersey residents have filed over 1200 complaints. Scams have included people impersonating government officials offering to expedite checks, people selling phony cures for COVID-19, and even people offering to sell puppies to families and then those puppies are never delivered.
So scams can take many forms, but there are some things you should watch out for. If somebody calls you and says they are a government official and they can expedite a check for you if you provide a Social Security number or bank account number, it’s a scam. If somebody offers to sell you a cure or a vaccine for COVID-19, it’s a scam. If somebody you’ve never met insists on payment for a product or a service by wire service like Western Union or MoneyGram, through a gift card, or by leaving money outside, it’s probably a scam.
If you’ve been a victim of a scam, or you suspect a scam, please contact the Hopewell Township Police at 609-737-3100 immediately.
Thanks, and stay safe, Hopewell Township.