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Port Vue police warn of phone money scam

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Friday, July 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Two Port Vue residents said callers with Middle East accents claimed to be from a law firm and demanded money.

Port Vue police Lt. David Petruski said a caller identified as Brian Parker said those residents are “in real trouble” unless they agree to wire money to him.

“Parker” told at least one caller that he represents Check Credit Services. He called from a Miami, Fla., number.

He said uniformed officers would show up in two days to arrest them if they did not pay. In one case $1,095.35 allegedly was owed, in another $5,484.87.

“This is really scaring some of the residents,” Petruski said. “I contacted these people and can barely understand them and got nothing but threats myself.”

When contacted by The Daily News, a man claiming to be Parker said he represents the Portillo & Associates firm in Miami.

“We never ask them for any money,” Parker said. He admitted talking about case files.

The Florida Bar Association said they have no record of such a firm. The only Portillo & Associates found in a Google search deals in real estate in Los Angeles.

The Florida Bar lists an attorney with a similar name and a clean record for 10 years.

Petruski said Parker and an associate named “Mike” had access to addresses and Social Security numbers.

“How they are getting them, I don't know,” Petruski said.

A Google search turned up numerous sites where the “law firm's” number is cited for questionable calls.

Petruski said those getting calls from anyone seeking personal information should not give it but instead “disconnect the call and call Port Vue police immediately,” at 412-672-2255 or 412-675-5011.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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