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For Immediate Release
June 7, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

ATTORNEY GENERAL: CONSUMERS SHOULD HANG UP ON “GAS COUPONS” TELEMARKETING SCAM

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. is warning consumers to be wary of a scam in which telemarketers call to offer $200 worth of “gas coupons” in exchange for a shipping and handling fee of $2 or $3. The telemarketers ask for the consumer’s bank account or credit card number, supposedly to debit the fee. The caller also encourages the consumer to agree to trial offers of other goods or services, such as long-distance calling cards. Even if consumers refuse the offers, they find unauthorized charges made on their accounts, sometimes up to hundreds of dollars.

“Con artists are always looking for a new twist,” Curran said. “To protect yourself, never give your bank account or credit card number over the phone to persons whom you do not know,” Curran said.

Maryland consumers who believe they have been victimized by the scam should contact the Attorney General’s Office at (410) 576-6569.

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