Beware of telemarketers, Pa. attorneys caution
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Beware of Canadians bearing gifts was the warning Thursday from Assistant Attorney General David Sumner to Franklin County senior citizens.
Victims have received calls from telemarketers or people purporting to be Canadian attorneys informing them they have won a lottery or have been willed money by a Canadian relative, according to Sumner, who works in the state's Bureau of Consumer Protection. They are asked to send money to the caller to settle taxes or pay for a processing fee, he said.
"This surprised me because how many senior citizens are playing the lottery in Canada, or have relatives in Canada they don't know about?" Sumner told a group of about 100 senior citizens at the Franklin County Administration Annex. Sumner and local attorneys were there for a seminar on legal issues affecting seniors sponsored by the Franklin County Bar Association.
Telemarketing scams, particularly across international borders, are difficult to prosecute, Sumner said. The problem is further complicated because in Canada cellular phones can be purchased like a prepaid telephone card, he said. Sumner said anyone can anonymously buy a cell phone that provides a prepaid amount of service to the buyer.