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New phone scam targets Maine job-seekers

6:52 PM, Jan 18, 2013   |    comments
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LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Hundreds of Mainers have reported receiving phone calls from the number 207-213-1904, a supposed "career placement agency."

The Office of the Attorney General is warning that this is not a career service, but a scam.

"Our suggestion to folks is just hang up," said Martha Demeritt, Complain Examiner at the Attorney General's Office.

She said her office is investigating complaints coming in from all over the state this week.

The calls appear to come from an automated messaging system. The caller identifies himself "Joseph" and then asks for your personal information to help with "career opportunties."

Ashley Thibeault said she and her husband have received a combined seven phone calls from the number.

"After about four times, I said, 'enough is enough,'" said Thibeault.

More than 700 people have responded to the NEWS CENTER Facebook post, saying they had received the same call.

Demeritt said there are two reasons why Mainers could be vulnerable.

First, she said the 207 area code might make people more likely to answer.

"They want to provide you with a sense of security, and that's what they're trying to do with that 207 number," said Demeritt.

Keirsten Walder, 15, of Lewiston, said she only answered the call because of the 207 area code.

She said once she told the caller she was 15 years old and not seeking a job, the caller hung up.

But for those Mainers seeking jobs, the scam could be particularly effective, Demeritt explained.

"I think the criminals are getting wise to that," she said.

Demeritt said anyone who receives a call like this one should hang up, or ask for the caller's information to check on the company.

They can call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Divison at 1-800-436-2131 or 626-8849.

The division can also be reached by email, at consumer.mediation@maine.gov.

More information is available at www.maine.gov/ag

 

 

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