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GTE CALIFORNIA ISSUES WARNING ABOUT LATEST TELEPHONE FRAUD SCAM

 GTE CALIFORNIA ISSUES WARNING ABOUT LATEST TELEPHONE FRAUD SCAM
 THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- GTE California officials today issued a warning to customers to beware of telephone fraud artists victimizing customers in Southern California.
 In recent episodes, con artists have posed as telephone company security agents asking customers to help thwart telephone fraud.
 "Customers should beware of this pitch, because by 'helping' prevent fraud, they could become victims of fraud," said Frank Augusta, manager of security investigations for GTE. "The con artists end up billing the helpful customer for long-distance calls, usually to Mexico, though other South American and Middle Eastern nations might be involved."
 Augusta said that if a customer is contacted by someone claiming to be a security agent, the customer should get the agent's name and telephone number, and hang up. Then, the customer should call the agent back.
 If a customer suspects they've been contacted by a con artist, the customer should dial the operator to explain the situation. The operator can contact the telephone company's security department.
 Augusta also reminded customers never to give out their calling card personal identification number (PIN). In the past, con artists have posed as telephone company representatives and asked for customers' PIN numbers.
 "A telephone company representative will never call a customer asking for a PIN number," August said. "We don't need it."
 GTE California, based in Thousand Oaks, serves more than 3 million customers in 330 communities, mostly in Southern California.
 -0- 6/10/92
 /CONTACT: Larry Cox or Dan Smith of GTE California (24-hour newsline), 800-227-5556/ CO: GTE California ST: California IN: TLS SU:


EH-KJ -- LA005 -- 8808 06/10/92 12:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 10, 1992
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