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Telephone scam makes rounds in West Penn

Published December 07. 2010 05:00PM

A telephone scam similar to one that was perpetrated against a Tamaqua woman last summer is now making the rounds in West Penn Township.

Edward Dudley, who chairs the township's planning commission, reported receiving a scam phone call, and he mentioned it during the West Penn Board of Supervisors meeting Monday evening.

Dudley said he received a call from someone identifying himself as his "grandson," stating that the "grandson" needed money to get himself out of trouble.

As Dudley mentioned the details, the scam sounded close to one reported in a TIMES NEWS story on Aug. 18 in which a supposed police officer asks for money (in that case, $6,000) to bail out her grandson from legal troubles. The woman who received the call, Jeannette O'Gorman of Tamaqua, went to the police instead.

Prior to the Tamaqua incident, THE TIMES NEWS received a report of a Mahoning Township grandmother, age 81, who was led to believe her granddaughter had been arrested in the Dominican Republic and needed $4,600 in assistance.

West Penn Township Chief of Police Brian Johnson said that an Internet search, such as with Google Earth, can help shed light on such scam attempts.

It was also mentioned that when the caller claims to be in the military and in need of a lawyer for his or her legal troubles, the caller should realize that the military provides lawyers for free to its personnel.

"You just have to be vigilant," said West Penn Supervisors Chairman Alfonso Martinez,

In another matter, Tamaqua Mayor Christian Morrison addressed the supervisors regarding the feasibility and possible formation of a regional police force.

Morrison said Tamaqua has completed an extensive police survey for the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and needs West Penn to do the same. Supervisor James Akins said he hoped to get Morrison the survey information by the end of the week.

"We hope to get started with this at the beginning of the year," said Morrison.

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