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Phone Scam Threatens to Suspend Victim’s License or Have Them Arrested

Photo, Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Attorney General Janet T. Mills is warning Mainers of a phone scam in which the caller claims to be from the Department of Motor Vehicles. As always, the potential victim is told they must pay money over the phone immediately.

AG Mills says this scam is much like one that was out a few months ago in which the caller claimed to be from the Maine court system. In this case, they claim to be from the DMV and demand immediate payment, over the phone, of fines and penalties. The potential victim is told that if they don’t comply a warrant will be issued for their arrest or their license will be suspended.

“No court or government agency will call you to demand an immediate cash payment to avoid arrest or the loss of your license,” said Attorney General Janet T. Mills in a press release.  “If someone calls you and asks you to make payment by money order or prepaid debit card, that is a very big red flag that you are about to be scammed.”

The best way to handle these calls, Mills says, is to hang up. Don’t engage the caller at all and don’t give them any information. If you have questions or are worried that it might be valid, look up the DMV’s phone number in the phone book or online and call. Never call back the number that shows up on your caller ID, as scammers can now fake or ‘spoof’ what your readout displays.

Remember, it’s never safe to give personal or financial information over the phone on a call that you did not initiate. For more information, log onto the Maine Attorney General’s website.

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