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Cops issue alert: Don't fall prey to scam callers

Fairfield police, in a CodeRed alert transmitted to town residents Wednesday, warn not to fall victim to telephone scammers who have bilked locals of thousands of dollars over the past months.

The most recent example was a caller who, posing as an Internal Revenue Service agent, scammed more than $11,400 from a 25-year-old local woman last week. The fake agent told the woman that she owed money to the federal agency, and that unless she immediately paid the debt -- used Green Dot MoneyPak cards -- her home, car and bank accounts would be seized. She purchased the cards as instructed and turned over the card identifications numbers to the caller, which he redeemed to carry out the theft.

The alert to residents to be wary of callers who claim to be representatives of agencies or organizations like the IRS, law-enforcement departments and utility companies.

The scammers typically follow a pattern in which they inform the intended victim that a serious problem. The caller will then suggest a scenario -- involving money -- by which the problem can be resolved, usually by purchasing money/gift cards or wiring funds to a designated recipient.

"Residents should hang up on the caller, provide no personal information and never send money or gift card numbers to anyone you do not personally know," police warned in the alert.

Anyone who has lost money because of such fraud should report the crime to police by calling 203-254-4800.

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