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Warning issued on cell phone scam that may have affected dozens

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Mon, Mar 13th 2017 05:25 pm

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn joins the Special Investigation Unit of New York State Police in warning consumers of a cell phone scam that may have affected dozens of people.

It's called "credit muling" and here's how it works: The scammer, offering you a quick way to make some cash, gives you $100 to buy a new wireless contract and hand over the new phone that comes with it. You are assured you won't be on the hook for the contract, claiming information from the contract would be transferred or "ported over" within 15 to 30 days. The problem is that cell phone companies require you give back the phone before ending the contract. Without the phone, the victim is required to pay monthly service fees for the length of the contract.

State Police have charged 31-year-old Bena Albaneh of Lackawanna with scheming to defraud for allegedly being involved in the credit muling scam. He is accused of duping dozens of people, but police believe there are more victims out there.

Anyone with more information, or who may have been a victim of this scam, is asked to call investigator Andre Dunlap (State Police) at 716-853-2283.

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