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Consumer Warning: Be Wary of Unsolicited Calls For Personal Information

Friday, December 2, 2011

Consumer Warning: Be Wary of Unsolicited Calls For Personal Information

The fraudulent scheme involves attempts to obtain personal financial information which can be used to defraud District residents.

The DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) is warning District residents of the reemergence of a fraudulent financial scam where residents receive unsolicited telephone calls from a person who identifies himself as a Mr. Rex Watson from telephone number (202) 657-5339. The person fraudulently informs residents they have been awarded a grant of $7,000.00 (or some similar amount); and, that in order to receive the grant payments, residents should remit processing fees ranging from $150 to $250.  As a part of the fraudulent scheme, the person also attempts to obtain personal financial information which can be used to defraud District residents.

DISB warns all residents to be wary about any entity, or individual claiming to offer any government grants to Districts residents by asking for their personal information such as credit card, bank account or Social Security numbers; or for any money or payment upfront. Therefore, DISB warns residents not to give out any personal financial information on calls they did not initiate or to anyone with whom they do not have a legitimate existing business relationship.

DISB also warns that these callers may use other methods such as text messaging on mobile devices, e-mails or other scams to solicit personal information as well. Should you suspect you or a loved one may have been defrauded, contact DISB at (202) 727-8000 or file a complaint online at www.disb.dc.gov.

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The Government of the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) regulates financial-service businesses in the District of Columbia. DISB has two overall missions: to provide fair, efficient and fast regulatory supervision of financial service activities for the protection of the people of the District of Columbia; and to create conditions that will attract and retain national and international insurance, securities, banking and other financial services businesses to the District. For more information, visit DISB on the Web at www.disb.dc.gov.