The state Department of State, through its Divisions of Consumer Protection and Licensing Services, is warning the public and licensees about a recent scam that involves individuals impersonating Department of State staff.
In most cases, impersonators are calling individuals at their home or business numbers under the guise of an alleged outstanding case against them. The impersonators are requesting Social Security numbers and/or requiring immediate payment of a fine with a money order or direct deposit.
The state Department of State does not communicate by phone or electronic means with individual respondents without first sending a written confirmation of possible allegations and providing all the proper verifiable contacts.
Be suspicious of any phone calls or emails asking for detailed personal or financial information, especially when they require some form of immediate payment.
To better protect yourself follow these simple steps:
Require the full name of the individual and a call back number to verify the information with the proper authorities.
Request written confirmation of the purported fine from the government authority.
Report the incident via e-mail to the Department of State by emailing dosInetLcns@dos.ny.gov
The state Department of State's Division of Licensing Services oversees the licensure, registration and regulation of 29 occupations throughout the state. DLS licenses more than 800,000 individuals including real estate brokers, notaries, private investigators, and appearance enhancement professionals. For more information, call the Division of Licensing Services at 518-474-4429 or visit www.dos.ny.gov/licensing.
The state Department of State's Consumer Assistance Services Unit takes complaints five days a week, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. via its toll-free helpline at 800-697-1220 or by calling 518-474-8583. Consumers can also visit www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection.