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For Immediate Release:
September 17, 2012
Contact: 518-486-9846
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NYS Department of State Warns the Public about
Phone Calls from Scammers Posing as DOS Representatives

The New York State Department of State, through its Divisions of Consumer Protection and Licensing Services is warning the public and licensees about a recent scam that involves individuals impersonating Department of State staff.

In most cases, impersonators are calling individuals at their home or business numbers under the guise of an alleged outstanding case against them. The impersonators are requesting social security numbers and/or requiring immediate payment of a fine via money order or direct deposit.

The New York State Department of State does not communicate by phone or electronic means with individual respondents without first sending a written confirmation of possible allegations and providing all the proper verifiable contacts.

Be suspicious of any phone calls or emails asking for detailed personal or financial information, especially when they require some form of immediate payment.

To better protect yourself follow these simple steps:

• Require the full name of the individual and a call back number to verify the information with the proper authorities.
• Request written confirmation of the purported fine from the government authority.

The New York Department of State's Division of Licensing Services (DLS) oversees the licensure, registration, and regulation of 29 occupations throughout the state. DLS licenses over 800,000 individuals including real estate brokers, notaries, private investigators, and appearance enhancement professionals. For more information you may contact the Division of Licensing Services at (518) 474-4429 or via the web at

The New York Department of State’s Consumer Assistance Services Unit takes complaints five days a week, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. via our toll-free helpline at 1-800-697-1220 or our via our local line at 518-474-8583. Consumers also may also reach us via the web at