BEWARE: Scams from Area Code 876

Fierce Telecom - FairPoint, police launch effort to prevent scams on the elderly

FairPoint, Maine law enforcement crack down on phone scammers targeting seniors

March 29, 2012

FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP) established an alliance this week with the state of Maine's law enforcement agencies to prevent a group of Jamaica-based con artists from trying to get money from the state's elderly residents.

During a press conference held on Wednesday, the service provider said it was working with Maine's York County Sheriff's Office and the Cape Elizabeth Police Department as partners in its "Beware: Scams from Area Code 876" campaign.

Law enforcement agencies in FairPoint's neighboring New England territories of New Hampshire and Vermont are also conducting their own investigations into the issue.

The service provider said that the scam works like this: A group is calling residents from a Jamaican area code, 876, and telling unsuspecting victims they have won a Jamaican lottery prize or automobile, but require them to pay cash up front to claim the purported prizes.

"In many cases the scammer befriends the victim, going as far as professing their love, intent to marry or even praying with them," said FairPoint Senior Manager of Security Larry Caruso in a release. "Once a victim is scammed out of money for the first time, the scammers work to get more and more money, including access to bank accounts and credit card information."

Sandra Raymond, an Arundel, Maine resident, said that one her relatives gave over $140,000 to the Jamaican con artist group.  

"These people are cruel and relentless in the way they deal with a senior," she told The Portland Press Herald. "They threaten, lie and coerce, while at the same time, they act like a friend and say they are just trying to help."

BEWARE: Scams from Area Code 876

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