Scams & Frauds Announcements

Spring and summer bring flowers and warm weather. Unfortunately, it also brings scammers. Please note the scams and frauds that have been reported in our community:

Beware of Contractor Scams
A Wantage resident reported that a silver pickup truck with New York license plates pulled into her driveway the morning of July 17th and claimed to have "a small load of blacktop left over from a job they just completed," and would the resident "like him to finish off the edge of her driveway?" Appropriately, the resident said no, and reported this incident to Wantage Town Hall. Such a situation may indeed be a legitimate offer. However, the risk that it is not legitimate outweighs any possible cost savings you might envision by accepting an offer like this. You might find yourself being asked to pay much more than you had originally expected, and/or be facing shoddy workmanship. Our local contractors in and around Wantage Township are ready and willing to provide you with very competitive quotes for any asphalt/blacktop work you may need, and their work comes with guarantees, warranties, and insurance coverage. It also comes with a written quotation/contract to protect you against being presented with a written bill inflated much higher than the verbal cost previously stated. So, be aware and beware! Wantage Township Mayor & Committee

Car Trouble
We are receiving sporadic reports from members of the public that unknown individuals have been knocking on doors claiming to have car trouble. These individuals may tell you that their car just ran out of fuel or is broken down and is only a few blocks away. This is a common SCAM that is run by criminals. DO NOT FALL FOR IT! Sometimes they will ask for money for gas. They may beg you to come with them to the car to try and help them. They may offer you some kind of security such as their jewelery; they may even be well-dressed and look "legitimate". Do NOT give these people money. Do NOT follow them to where they claim their car is. If you suspect they are really in trouble, report their situation to the NJ State Police at 973-383-1515.

Inspection Program
The Wantage Township Government is currently NOT involved in any on-going inspection program. If someone represents themselves as an "Inspector," or otherwise undertakes unannounced activity such as photographing your home, or walking around your property "taking measurements", ask them to produce a Wantage Township Photo ID Card. All of our inspectors carry one. If they do not have this identification, or another legitimate form of identification from the County or the State, call the State Policeat 973-383-1515 immediately. BE SAFE. BE SMART.

Warning - Do Not Do Business With Unlicensed Peddlers
We received a report of an individual attempting to sell meat from a truck to a Wantage citizen.

Such efforts to sell food items—or other services—door-to-door turn up in Wantage every so often. This type of solicitation is usually presented by the person saying that he has "completed his deliveries for the day" and had some extra inventory, and he wants to know if you want to buy it at a discount.

While the purchase of products through the Internet represents a valid and private business transaction, the act of knocking on someone's door in Wantage Township and offering to sell something to the resident that he or she did not order represents an act of peddling. There are currently no licensed peddlers in Wantage Township other than a hot dog cart, and several snack/refreshment carts that operate in the Township public parks.

If anyone knocks on your door and offers to sell you something, ask to see his (or her) Peddler's Permit. If he/she does not have a Wantage Township Peddler Permit, this individual has not paid his/her fees to Wantage; he/she may not be registered with the State of New Jersey for Sales Tax compliance; he/she has not obtained a Food Handling Permit, so there is no protection for you regarding the safety of the food sold to you; and this person is taking commerce away from the legitimate Wantage Township businesses and farmers who pay their taxes in Wantage and rely on us to stay in business.

Please remember that you are not obliged to open your door to an unknown person, and you should act with caution whenever someone offers to sell you food, repave your driveway, clean your gutters, or any other service which you have not requested. If this person is a legitimate business person, he/she will be willing to leave you with his/her contact information or send it to you in the mail and do business with you another day, if you choose to contact him/her. Do not accept suggestions of "good deals if you act now." Any such representations should raise a yellow flag of caution. If the offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

Suspicious activity involving the offering of such services should be reported to the New Jersey State Police at 973-383-1515.

JCP&L Warns Customers About Pre-Paid Green Dot Card Scam
Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) is warning customers about a long-running, nation-wide utility scam that is again being reported in New Jersey involving a caller posing as an electric company employee threatening to shut off power unless an immediate payment is made using a pre-paid debit card such as a Green Dot card.

These pre-paid cards typically are available at convenience stores and drug stores and can be used by consumers to pay bills or add money to online accounts. However, Green Dot cards are not officially sanctioned by JCP&L as a bill payment method.

“Customers should know that if they get a call from someone demanding payment of their electric bill by using a Green Dot card they are being scammed and should report the crime to local authorities,” said Anthony Hurley, JCP&L vice president of Operations. “While a company representative may phone a customer whose bill is in arrears to remind them that a payment is due, we would explain how a payment can be made using established payment options.”
Any customer who has doubts about a call from someone claiming to be from JCP&L, especially one demanding immediate payment, should call JCP&L’s customer service number at 1-800-662-3115. Press Releaseon, so that we all can make informed decisions on the issues which affect us so much.

Bank Debit Card is Locked
Please be advised that numerous people are receiving a text message or telephone call claiming to be from Lakeland Bank, stating that their debit card is locked. The message instructs the customer to call a telephone number and select Option 1 to resolve the problem. DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS! This appears to be a fraudulent act to gain information. If you are a Lakeland Bank customer and you have any questions about your Debit Card or any other private financial account with that bank, contact Lakeland Bank’s customer service at 866-224-1379.

Please be advised that numerous people are receiving a text message or telephone call claiming to be from Sussex Bank, stating that their debit card is locked. The message instructs the customer to call a telephone number and select Option 1 to resolve the problem. DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS! This is a fraudulent act to gain private information from you. This message is NOT being sent to you from Sussex Bank.