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WBAL-TV: Misdialing Division of Vital Records could cost you

07.28.2017

Attorney General's Office warns of telephone scam

By Lisa Robinson (July 28, 2017, BALTIMORE)

The Maryland Attorney General's Office is warning about a scam that could put personal information at risk.

A simple telephone number misdial when calling the Division of Vital Records could put Marylanders at risk.

People call the Division of Vital Records because they need a birth certificate or death certificate, usually to take care of important matters. In this instance, a misdial is costly.

The correct phone number for the Division of Vital Records is 410-764-3038, but when people make a mistake and dial 401 instead of area code 410, they are connected to someone pulling an impostor scam, someone pretending to be from a trusted source.

"You call up and ask for a birth certificate, they get your vital statistics -- they ask for your birth date, your Social Security number, your name," Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said.

Then the scammers ask for a credit card number to pay for the information sought, and the scam begins.

In one instance, someone gave up their bank account number.

"When they gave it, (the scammer) stole thousands of dollars from him, I think it's in the area of $10,000," Frosh said.

Frosh said people who have been victimized can take steps to try to protect themselves.

"You can call the Attorney General's Office, State's Attorney's Office. You can call the police. If you give them your bank account number, call the bank. If you give them your credit card number, call the credit card company and shut it down as fast as you can," Frosh said.

Division of Vital Records officials said they will not ask for a caller to provide their Social Security number over the phone. Anyone who's asked for their personal information should double check the number they dialed.

Contact the Attorney General's Office - Identity Theft Unit:

Phone: 410-576-6491
Fax: 410-576-6566
E-mail: idtheft@oag.state.md.us

200 St. Paul Place
16th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

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