Gift card, Craigslist employment scams reported

Posted April 06, 2011, at 8:54 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Scam artists may be ratcheting up their attempts to steal the personal information of area residents, according to police from two separate agencies in Penobscot County who warned of both an online scam and a telephone scam on Wednesday.

Lt. Wesley Hussey of the Maine State Police said that his agency is investigating a scam affecting victims in northern Penobscot County who allegedly received phone calls informing them that they had won a $400 gift card from Walmart. Hussey said victims then are asked for a credit or debit card number to process a $1.95 service fee in order to receive their prize.

“State police are reminding people to be very guarded about releasing any personal financial information,” Hussey wrote in a press release.

The second gimmick involves the online classified service Craigslist.

Lt. Chris Martin of the Brewer Police Department said he received a tip from a “concerned citizen” whose friend had responded to a job posting on the website.

The posting listed a job opportunity at Sullivan Tire, an automotive service company with branches throughout the Northeast. It said positions were available for entry-level and experienced mechanics as well as automotive technicians at the company’s Brewer location on Wilson Street.

Martin said when those interested in the jobs contacted the source of the listing, they were asked to provide personal information for a pre-employment credit check.

Martin said, “I have spoken with Sullivan Tire in Brewer. They do not advertise openings on Craigslist, and this ad is not legitimate.”

Attempts to contact Sullivan Tire on Wednesday evening were unsuccessful.

Martin did not specify whether or not his agency was investigating the listing, but said the public should be aware of such activity on the website.

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