FairPoint Communications and law enforcement are warning the public about a telephone scam that originates from Area Code 876.
The scam has victimized elderly residents throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, resulting in losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
• If you get a call saying you’re a winner- don’t pay any money to collect supposed sweepstakes winnings. Legitimate operations won’t require you to pay to collect your winnings.
• It’s against federal law to play a foreign lottery – so if you get a call it is likely a scam.
• Never wire money to anyone with whom you are not familiar.
• Never provide anyone with personal information such as bank accounts, pin numbers or Social Security numbers.
• Check any unfamiliar area codes before returning calls.
• Be aware that there are many 3-digit area codes that connect callers to international telephone numbers – especially 876.
• If you do not have Caller ID, consider adding it to your phone service. Caller ID allows you to add a Call Intercept feature that screens calls and offers the option to reject suspicious international calls.
• If you do not make international calls, ask your telephone provider to block outgoing international calls.
• Contact your phone service provider, local authorities, or the Federal Trade Commission to report a potential scam.
• If you are a FairPoint Communications customer and would like to speak with security, please dial 855-231-1660.