Police & Fire

Scams Abound This Summer in Lower Providence

TAP Into Lower Providence got a strange phone call yesterday. Thankfully, a quick-thinking advertising executive made sure the business was not the victim of a scam that has rocked Lower Providence Township over the last few months.

According to Lower Providence Police Department, the phone call to the locally-owned and –operated business was not the first of its kind. Several calls about telephone scammers have been reported to LPPD this summer.

As previously reported by LP TAP on July 7, one such call nearly took a Shannondell couple for $4,000 in money orders. A caller asked for bail money, posing as a New Jersey policeman.

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Earlier in June, a Lower Providence woman was the victim of a secret shopper scam. The full story was reported here by TAP on June 9.

According to LPPD, the scams have not stopped.

Recently released police reports show that two other township residents have been victimized by similar scams. On June 25, a woman in the 2000 block of Swan Circle reported that she’d received a suspicious voicemail message, which she relayed to police.

The message stated that a representative from the International Revenue Service (IRS), a male with a “heavy middle eastern accent,” who provide her name and indicated “there was an issue with her 2008 through 2012 tax returns.”

“Specifically, [he stated] she owed the government $3,500,” said Ofc. Mark A. Stead in his report. “He stated the matter was extremely serious and requested a return phone call with her social security number.”

The caller ID on the woman’s phone showed a number from Utah (385-313-3975), though the male caller asked her to return the call to 888-384-7523.

After a return call to the male, the Lower Providence woman said he told her she would face 11 years in prison and would owe fines “in excess of $40,000 and a revocation of her passport,” according to the report.

The woman said the male became angry as she questioned him, per the reports, calling her “stupid,” using profanity and made “vulgar comments.”

Another June 25 report was filed recently with a similar incident in the first block of Summit Avenue.

A man calling himself “Eric Foster” called from a number 202-241-1435 stating he was from the IRS.

“Foster claimed to be from the IRS and attempted to get [the Lower Providence man] to send him $2985 to satisfy a tax debt,” read reports. The man realized it was a scam and did not send money or provide any personal information.

No suspects or police action were taken in either case. In terms of the LP TAP call, a police report was filed based on the call. A caller asked for our personal information, car insurance policy number and address. LP TAP failed to provide any personal information, and immediately reported the call to police.

If you suspect a scam telephone call, call the LPPD at 610-539-5901 to report the incident. 

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