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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Phone scams pop up throughout the Lehigh Valley

One+scam+involves+the+caller+pretending+to+be+a+member+of+the+Northampton+County+Sheriffs+Department.+
Photo by Austin Carey for The Lafayette
One scam involves the caller pretending to be a member of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department.

The Lehigh Valley has been plagued with phishing phone call scams for the past month, prompting warnings from the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department.

The scam has involved a man, who pretends to be a sheriff’s deputy, asking residents to repay their Paycheck Protection Program loans, which were distributed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to support small businesses.

“The caller then gives instructions for repaying this loan at secure public kiosks that accept Bitcoin, or they will be arrested immediately due to their non-compliance,” the department’s press release said.

“The public should be aware that this is a scam,” the press release continued. “The Northampton County Sheriff’s Department does not call residents and solicit money.”

Additionally, this past weekend, someone scammed an elderly woman in East Allen Township out of $16,000, her identity and banking information after pretending to be K-pop star Cha Eun-woo.

If residents receive a suspicious phone call, “they should report it” said Brittney Waylen, deputy director of administration and public information officer of Northampton County.

Suspicious calls can be reported to several locations, including the Pennsylvania Homeland Security and Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General websites. Calls involving the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department can be reported directly to the department at 1-800-441-2555 or emailed to [email protected].

Waylen advised those who receive calls from those claiming to be members of local or state governance to hang up and contact the affiliated organization to confirm the legitimacy of the call.

Correction 2/19/2024: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Northampton County as “Northampton Country.”

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Selma O'Malley, News Editor
Waiting for someone to write a sitcom about a college newspaper.
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  • D

    Deborah SpadacciaFeb 16, 2024 at 12:22 pm

    I just don’t even answer the phone unless of course I know the person. It’s safer that way.
    And, they can leave a message. I have caller ID whether it’s my cell or home phone so I can identify someone.

    Reply