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Delaware Residents Warned About Recent Rash Of Phone Scams

DOVER, Del. (CBS) -- Delaware State Police are warning residents to be on the lookout for scammers who make phone calls requesting or demanding money for car crashes, overdue bills, to obtain a federal grant or to receive gold.

Authorities say there have also been complaints made recently concerning demands for money with no formal organization identified.

Police say a 68-year-old man contacted 9-1-1 in early July claiming an unknown person with a foreign accent called from the telephone number 240-357-2565 and informed him that his son had been in a car accident and injured another person. The victim told police that the person demanded $2,000 to cover the expenses and prevent further injury to his son. He said he and his wife were able to make contact with their son and determine that he was okay, and that's when he contacted authorities.

A week later, police say, a concerned citizen reported a call from an unknown suspect with a heavy middle-eastern accent, who advised her that she would receive a $9,000, a U.S. Federal Government Grant because she paid her taxes, mortgage and is a good citizen. The caller then asked for her name, address, and home phone number. She told authorities that she got off the line with them and then called the number back. When she started questioning them about how they got her information, the subjects hung up the phone.

Police say two more complaints were reported a few days later from victims who claim they had received a phone call from 302-736-7035. The caller ID showed "City of Dover." According to the complaints, the male suspect warned them that they owed the electric company money and that if they did not pay, their electric was going to be turned off. Police say the suspects told the victims to go to Royal Farms and withdraw money and place it on a pre-paid credit card. The suspect then advised the victims to call 1-877-432-9325 extension 1 once they obtain the money.

And most recently, police say a 53-year-old woman claims she met a man on, who was described to be in the U.S. Army and currently stationed in Afghanistan. It was reported the person she met, Lt. Col. Danny Hampton, was going to send her $5 million in gold, which he received after helping a small town avoid terrorist capture. The victim told authorities she was led to believe the gold got held up in customs and that she was required to send money in order to have it released and sent to her. After wiring $21,000 to various addresses, she learned, Lt. Col. Hampton did not exist.

An investigation into all of the incidents is ongoing.

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