Police issue warning about costly phone scam targeting seniors in Berks County

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Published: Nov 25 2013 05:37:46 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 26 2013 01:04:45 PM EST

Police are sounding the alarm about a phone scam that has cost one victim tens of thousands of dollars.

Scammers with thick Jamaican accents are calling people and pretending to represent the lottery, casinos, the IRS or Publisher's Clearing House, said Sgt. Joel Marino, Muhlenberg Twp. Police Dept., adding that would-be victims are instructed to pay a processing fee or a large tax in order to receive their prize.

The scammers are also spoofing caller IDs, so people who receive a call are led to believe it is legitimate because the call appears to be coming from a local number or Washington, D.C., Marino said.

During the course of their investigation, police said they learned that one person was scammed out of tens of thousands of dollars.

The best thing to do, police said, is hang up and never give personal information over the phone.

If you have been scammed, contact your local police department.