June 7, 2004
GENERAL: CONSUMERS SHOULD HANG UP ON “GAS COUPONS” TELEMARKETING
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.
consumers who believe they have been victimized by the scam should
contact the Attorney General’s Office at (410) 576-6569.