Portsmouth Police Warn of Scams
Police are urging residents to be cautious of two recent occurring scams.
Portsmouth police are warning residents of two separate scams taking place via phone and Internet.
Lt. Brian Peters of the Portsmouth Police Department says someone has been phoning local residents and stating a relative has been detained in a foreign country. The caller says the relative, most likely a grandchild, cannot be released unless the victim wires them money.
The victim believes they are transferring money to help the relative. However, according to Peters, this money is being sent to Haiti.
"If anyone gets any of these calls, make sure they are true and first try to contact the relative," Peters said.
The victims may also release the names of their relatives without knowing, giving the scam artist more information.
Another scam targeting local residents is occurring online. According to Peters, victims see Portsmouth house and apartment rental ads on Craigslist.
The rental listings are fake, police said. However, victims are sending monetary deposits for these rentals and driving to the homes in Portsmouth.
Peters tells residents to "be cautions when doing anything on the Internet. Just take the appropriate steps to validate these."
Anyone who suspects one of these scams is urged to contact Portsmouth police at (401) 683-0300.