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Vestal Public Library warns residents of fake phone calls

VESTAL (WBNG) — The Vestal Public Library is warning its patrons to be on the lookout for a phone call, attempting to get into their pockets.

The library says an Apalachin woman, who uses the library, received a phone call telling her she needed to pay her dues. But library director Carol Boyce says that’s not true since the woman lives within the Vestal school district limits.

“Ever since we went to be a school district library, those who live in the school district are part of Apalachin, their cards are free because they pay the property tax,” said Boyce.

Not only does the Vestal Library say the woman didn’t have to pay, but that if she did, the library wouldn’t have called her.

“The system might send out an email stating your membership is up in such and such time. But we don’t call you and we don’t ask for dues,” said Boyce.

Both patrons and Boyce are shocked that these calls are happening to the library community.

“I think of libraries as non-controversial and not highly into the profit motive,” said Stan Masters of Vestal.

“It bothered me a lot. Because one, it can harm the clientele coming in and out, but just the fact that someone would take advantage like that. It bothered me quite a lot very instantly,” said Boyce.

The library is worried this could turn into a bigger problem.

“I’m thinking to myself, if he’s calling her who else is he calling? This is a scam,” said Boyce.

Four County Library System director, Steve Bachman, says he has not heard of this kind of call being reported at any other libraries in the Southern Tier. But he did note, he will issue notices to area libraries warning them to be on the lookout.

The Vestal Public Library says it’s working to report this phone call to the Federal Trade Commission.

If you are a victim of one of these calls, let the Vestal Public Library know.

Annie Flaherty

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