3OYS WARNING: Beware of scammers acting as state agencies

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Mary Lou Snell exercises her body and mind through a lot walking and crocheting blankets.

"You've got to do something to keep your mind sharp," she said.

And it was Snell's sharp mind that helped her avoid what could have been an ugly situation.

“I just knew that something was not right, the way he started out the conversation," she said.

Snell is talking about a phone call from a man claiming to be from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

“I asked him what I could do for him, and he said that he could get me some money," she said.

All Snell had to do was provide the caller with some information needed for department records, but it all sounded a little fishy.
“So, I said, 'I don't think the Department of Health Services is in the business of giving money back to people.' And he says, 'No this is different.' ”

3 On Your Side has heard of similar scams, but we haven't heard about the Department of Health Services being used as the bait.
Snell says she certainly didn't fall for it and hung up.
“I didn't let him ask me anything, like how do I spell my name, my address; I didn't let him do any of that. But it probably would have ruined us if I would have given him any information," she said.

Now, Snell wants to warn others, particularly senior citizens, to be cautious and to not fall for the pitch.

“So once they get this information, they've got your address, your phone number. They can even come to your house and rob you. It's a scary thing if you think the whole thing through," she said.