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05/11/2017

FRAUDULENT SCAMS CONTINUE TO BE ACTIVE IN THIS AREA

     The Sheriff’s Office continues each day to receive complaints of telephone and mail scams of the many varieties that re-appear from time to time. We have issued alert bulletins many times in the past in an effort to keep the public informed and warned to be extremely wary of these fraudulent schemes so as not to become  victims of them.

      Just as another friendly reminder, if you receive any phone calls, texts, emails, messages on social media, or delivered mail asking you to send money, transfer money, load money onto a pre-paid credit or debit card, or to provide any kind of verifying personal information whatsoever such as date of birth, social security number, maiden name, or address, please be extremely hesitant and cautious in proceeding.  Often times people will be told they have won a cash award, cash drawing, vacation trips, or high dollar prizes but before they can be delivered or claimed they have to pay “processing fees” in advance.  This is an instant red flag that indicates a probable scam.  If you wire money or load money onto a card for the caller, then you will have lost that money and receive nothing in return.  You will not be able to recover what you have lost.

     Other scammers pretend to be calling from governmental agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service, accusing you of having not paid taxes and threatening seizures of bank accounts, property, and possible criminal charges unless you immediately wire money to settle the “debt”. 

     These are just two examples of fraudulent schemes and scams that are active in this area.  There are several others as well.    Scammers have the ability to “spoof” the telephone numbers that show up on your caller ID.  They can make it appear that you are receiving the call from a local number or a number for example in Washington, DC where federal government offices are located, even though the caller is in fact calling you from a foreign country overseas.  Scammers can be very aggressive, intimidating, and threatening.  The best thing to do is simply hang up the phone and not speak with them.

    The bottom line is this: DO NOT SEND OR TRANSFER MONEY IN ANY MANNER TO ANYONE OR ANY PLACE unless you are absolutely certain it is for a legitimate reason.  Once the money is sent or transferred, it is gone.  It is not like a check that you can turn around and stop payment on.  Your money will be gone, and you will not get it back.

     The Federal Government accepts citizen complaints and reports of all scams from all sources.  If you believe you have been contacted by scammers, please consider calling the following to report it:

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (all scams except IRS scams)

1-877-382-4357

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (for IRS scams only)

1-800-366-4484

     The Sheriff’s Office will continue to issue alert bulletins from time to time to keep the public mindful of these fraudulent activities.  We do not want anyone becoming a victim of one of these scams.

Baxter County Sheriff's Office

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