Jamestown Police: Scammer poses as reporter

Jamestown police have been tipped off to a possible scam involving someone posing as a reporter from The Post-Journal requesting personal information.

Capt. Robert Samuelson of the Jamestown Police Department said an area resident called his office Wednesday to report a suspicious phone call that was received. According to Samuelson, the caller claimed to be a reporter from the newspaper and was doing a story on past athletes from the Jamestown area.

During the phone conversation, the caller – who knew specific information about the local resident – asked for the resident’s age, date of birth and Social Security number. The resident immediately hung up and called police.

“They realized something wasn’t right and didn’t reveal any personal information,” Samuelson said.

“It’s not unusual for us to receive these types of calls,” he added. “Thankfully, people are smart enough to know they’re not supposed to be giving out this kind of information to anyone, especially over the phone.”

Most of the information known about the resident was accessible on their Facebook page, Samuelson said. The caller, meanwhile, used a private phone number to make the call, which is difficult to trace, he added.

John Whittaker, editor of The Post-Journal, confirmed the newspaper does not seek Social Security numbers from individuals featured in stories.

“It has not, nor has it ever been, the practice of The Post-Journal to ask for Social Security numbers,” he said.

Whittaker said residents can call the newsroom to verify a reporter’s identity if there is any concern. The newsroom can be reached at 487-1111.