Scam calls pose as local business

“We will never call you asking for credit card information.”

That’s what Scott Spangler, Executive Director of the Pine Grove Ambulatory Surgical Center, said he wants people in the community to know after he was alerted Monday afternoon that a new scam in which callers claim to be from the surgery center are asking for credit card information. According to Spangler, someone from the community called the surgery center Monday afternoon to check on the veracity of a call he’d just received from the surgery center’s number. The caller told Spangler that someone had called from that number asking for credit card information.

“If anyone calls you from here,” said Spangler of the Pine Grove Ambulatory Surgery Center, “they will identify themselves by name and the only reason anyone would be calling from here would be to verify insurance information, or to confirm an upcoming appointment.”

He said that the call was reported to state police, who told him that there are now ways for scam callers to route their numbers to make them look local.

Even calls from outside the country, said Pennsylvania State Police Monday, can be made to appear on caller ID as if they’re originating from the local area. Scammers have developed ways to even use the phone numbers of actual places within a given community.

“They’ll use establishments, people’s names,” police said. “There are so many ways of doing this.”

Police said that it’s important to be aware that just because a number matches the phone number for a legitimate local business or person, that doesn’t mean it’s actually that business or person you’re talking to. If there is any uncertainty, “never give out information.” Always call the business or person to verify directly that they need the information being requested, police said, and never give out personal information over the phone.

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