SALEM, MA — Salem Police Chief Lucas Miller is warning residents of an increase in telephone scams with scammers using numbers that appear to be coming from legitimate agencies like the IRS, Medicare, Social Security, the FBI and local police.

“Particularly despicable, many of these scams target the elderly. None of those agencies make legitimate calls to demand money,” Miller said. “No government agency will solicit gift cards or the passwords to your banking accounts.

“Despite the seemingly local number, many of these calls originate outside the U.S. and therefore investigation and prosecution of the scammers is very difficult.”

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Miller asked that any Salem resident who received such a suspicious call contact the police at 978-874-1212.

“We are very familiar with these scams and we’re happy to help you figure out if a call is legitimate,” Miller said.

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Miller said there are also scams going around recently where scammers purport to be charities that represent local police, fire departments or widows and orphans of slain officers. Miller said there are legitimate charities of that nature, but they do not solicit by telephone.

“Please do not fall for them, but also let us know if you do,” Miller said.”Be on your guard.

“It is heartbreaking to discover when someone criminal has managed to steal someone’s life savings, especially a…

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