November 21, 2012
Department of Consumer Protection Alerts Consumers to Scammers Posing as Agency Workers, Promising Money
HARTFORD, November 21 -- The Department of Consumer Protection is warning consumers today to be wary of, and ignore telephone calls from persons who claim to be employed by the Department of Consumer Protection and who offer quick reimbursement money to settle a legal claim.
“We’ve gotten numerous reports in the past few days from consumers who have been contacted by phone by persons claiming that they work for our Department and have money to be paid to the consumer. “ Rubenstein said. “One of the reports describes a phone caller who encouraged the consumer to go to a specific website and download a form that would be used to claim her refund. The form was due to expire in three minutes. There is absolutely no way that our Department would contact anyone to claim a reimbursement in this manner.”
Another consumer was asked for his mailing address so he could be sent a check, but he was suspicious because he had already received money from the Department’s Home Improvement Guaranty Fund. The Department of Consumer Protection, based at 165 Capitol Avenue in Hartford, helps consumers who apply to the agency for restitution from various Guaranty Funds that it administers, such as the Health Club Guaranty Fund, the Home Improvement Guaranty Fund, and the New Home Construction Guaranty Fund. All official communications between the agency and consumers regarding a payment from the fund is conducted by official U.S. mail. The Department never asks for money in order to collect payment from a Guaranty Fund, and never utilizes a remote website in order for monies to be transferred to consumer accounts.
“The consumers we have heard from did the right thing by being skeptical and double checking with our Department before proceeding,” Rubenstein said. “We regret that the good works of the Department are being exploited by scammers seeking to victimize citizens with fake promises of easy money, and are working with law enforcement to identify the source of these calls and bring them to a halt. I strongly encourage anyone who is contacted by someone claiming to from the Department of Consumer Protection with an offer of money to save their time and just hang up. We don’t conduct our operations in that way.”
CONTACT: Claudette Carveth, Department of Consumer Protection; firstname.lastname@example.org; 860-713-6022