The following scenarios are some of the more common scams being used to obtain money or personal information from the victim. Becoming familiar with this information will help citizens to recognize when they are talking to someone who is trying to take advantage of them. Unfortunately, Senior Citizens are more susceptible to being influenced or confused by scammers. Often times the caller ID of the victim may show a name that corresponds to the claim of the caller (e.g. “US Treasury” or “Internal Revenue Service”) which can further confuse the intended victim. Scammers may have an enticing opportunity or may be threatening negative actions (arrest) if the victims don’t do as they are asked. In any case, citizens are reminded to never provide or confirm private information to anyone who initiates contact with them. If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, contact your local Police Department and follow their instruction regarding the future protection of your Identity.
- Caller claims to be from the IRS and is collecting overdue taxes. Demands immediate payment or victim will be arrested. (IRS will never contact you by phone.)
- Caller claims to be from the IRS and is looking to give a rebate or tax overpayment back to the victim. Asks for banking information
- Caller claims to be from the Lottery or other Sweepstakes Organization and advises victim that they have won millions but have to pay taxes or other fees attached to the winnings.
Public Utility Fraud
- Caller claims to be from the Gas, Electric, or Cable company and threatens to cut off service unless overdue payment isn’t immediately received. Caller usually directs the victim to purchase a “Green Dot” or other Cash card and demand the number from the card. (Again, these companies will never initiate contact with you by phone)
Jailed/Stranded Relative Fraud
- Usually targets Seniors, Caller claims to be the Grandson/daughter, Niece/Nephew, etc. of the victim and claims to be in another country and needs money wired to their location because they suffered a terrible crime and their wallet was stolen but now need to pay for Hotel or Rental Car fees or they will be arrested.
- A similar Fraud comes in the form of an Email from someone who has you in their email list. This is indicative of a computer virus infecting their computer. The email will provide a process for sending money to help pay for a Hotel or Car rental due to a lost or stolen wallet or other more tragic circumstances.
Wealthy Immigrant Fraud
- Caller or emailer claims to be a wealthy (sometimes a person of royalty) individual who needs your help to transfer money from his/her country into your account. They promise to give you a reward for your help but ask for your bank information. A variation of this is a large check is sent to the victim in his/her name and asks for a portion of it to be wired back. The original check is fraudulent and your money is gone.
Jury Duty Fraud
- Similar to IRS Fraud caller identifies themselves as Law Enforcement or County Official and claims that a warrant has been issued for the person being called but will help to reschedule a new date if the person verifies or provides personal information.
Microsoft Repair Fraud
- Caller claims to be from Microsoft, Intel, Apple, or other well-known computer company advising that the intended victim’s computer sent an error message and a repair or update needed to be done. They will instruct the intended victim on the steps to make the changes on the affected computer. Following their instructions will give them full access to your computer and its contents.
Pigeon Drop Fraud
- This is a long used scam conducted by 2 people who may appear to be unknown to each other but are working as a team and conduct the scam in person usually in a parking lot. One approaches a target victim and claims to have found a large sum of money and shows it to the target and asks what the target thinks should be done. The second scammer enters the conversation and claims to know a friend (sometimes an Attorney or Company Manager) who will give them advice. The target victim is told that they should all get “Good Faith” money and put it with the found sum. The target victim provides the money and sees it placed with the other money. The target is driven to a location and given the envelope with all of the money and told to take it into a building and ask for the “friend” who will divide the money 3 ways. The target victim walks into the building and learns that there is no one by the name given for the friend at that location and then realizes that the envelope with the money was switched and they are left with worthless paper.