Scam, Scam, Everywhere a Scam – Don’t Fall for It
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive reports of scammers trying to lie, intimidate, trick, and threaten people into giving up their hard-earned money or personal information leaving them vulnerable to identity theft.
Here are just a few SCAMS recently reported:
“Summons, Warrant, Jury Duty, Failure to Appear as a Witness Scam” On November 28, 2017, a citizen reported he received a call from a scammer claiming to work for the “Spokane County Liaison Office”. The criminal claimed there was a summons against the citizen while threatening court action and arrest if he did not pay a FEE. The scammer had some personal information about the citizen (information that could be found on the internet) which aided in the scammer sounding legitimate but the potential victim was suspicious and took the time to contact the Spokane County Auditor’s Office to check out the story. He quickly learned the Spokane County Liaison Office doesn’t exist and this is a scam.
*** These scam stories are, more or less, the same. The predators merely change parts of it to sound different but the scam is basically this; the caller proclaims you broke the law (didn’t show up for jury duty, didn’t appear as a witness, didn’t pay some fine or ??) and now, if you don’t immediately pay them, you will be arrested and thrown in jail.
“Utilities Company Scam” On November 30, 2017, Crime Check received a report of a person claiming to work for a local utilities company. The scammer stated to the potential victim he was behind on his payments and needed to pay $500.00 to settle the debt/FEES or the power would be shut off. Instead of falling for this scammer’s lies and deceit, he contacted the utilities company using the phone number he located (not one the scammer provided you), verified this was a scam, and did not send any money.
*** Reputable companies/organizations, government entities or law enforcement will NEVER call and threaten you and demand immediate payment. It’s a SCAM, don’t lose your money. Take a little time, do your own investigating, and verify everything before you send any money or provide your personal information.
“Publishers Learning House Scam” On December 2, 2017, a victim reported he received calls earlier in the week claiming he won the sweepstakes. The predatory scammer convinced the victim to pay $2,500.00 in FEES to have his winnings sent to him.
The day after he deposited the money into the bank account as instructed, he received another call informing him he needed to send another $4,000. Realizing this was a scam, he did not send the additional funds.
*** If you must pay to receive “winnings” or are promised large amounts of cash if you pay a fee, it’s a SCAM, don’t lose your money.
The old saying still applies, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”
Do NOT, for any reason, provide any personal or banking information over the phone to anyone you don’t know and trust 100% unless you instigated the call for your own reasons. Law Enforcement, Government or reputable business will NOT call and threaten/coerce you into buying prepaid credit cards, providing remote access to computers, or providing personal/banking information.
If for some reason you “think” it might be a legitimate call, take the time to check out the information on your own. Do NOT use the phone numbers or contact information the person on the phone is providing, look the information up yourself and make contact with known, published numbers. Do NOT give in to their threats and intimidation to make you do it “right now or else”.
We, law enforcement (IRS, ANY Sheriff’s Office, Police Department or State Patrol) will NEVER call and threaten your arrest “unless you pay us right now.” If you get a call like this, it’s a SCAM! Hang up and report the phone call to Crime Check at 509-456-2233.
No reputable computer company will ever call you and request remote access to your computer and home internet system. If you receive a call like this, it’s a SCAM! Hang up and report the phone call to Crime Check at 509-456-2233. If you happen to be having computer problems but you haven’t contacted a company yet, take the callers information, hang up and call the company at the phone numbers YOU looked up and verify it’s not a scam. Once you give remote access to your computer, a scammer can download your personal information stored on that computer (tax records, banking information, important identification numbers etc.).
Don’t be victimized by these predatory criminals. Check their stories out. Understand once you give this type of information or access to ANYONE, you are taking a huge risk with your money and identity.