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News and Alerts
Don't Become A Victim
Here are just a few of the scams within our area being reported by our citizens.
Scammers have contacted victims by claiming they are a deputy court administrator. The criminals tell their targets that they failed to report for jury duty and a warrant for their arrest has been filed which contains a fine of $1000.00, and to remain on the phone so police can track their location. Victims stated they could hear police radio communication in the background of the phone call. The criminal’s call-back number answers with a sophisticated message including names and titles of county employees. Court officials will only contact you by mail for jury duty, and will never call someone to demand they pay a fine.
The IRS stated that many people receive bogus notices designed to look like a real IRS CP2000 notice, which the IRS sends if information it receives from its sources does not match the information you reported on your tax return. The bogus notices often claim that you owe additional money because of provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The IRS will never:
- Initiate contact with you by email or through social media. Never click on a link in an email that you do not recognize. It may be an attempt to steal your personal information.
- Ask you to pay using a gift card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer.
- Request personal or financial information by email, texts, or social media.
- Threaten to immediately have you arrested or deported for not paying.
Bitcoin is “Internet money” also known as “virtual currency” that is paid “peer to peer”, which in this case is “victim to criminal”. The transactions take place directly between users of the Bitcoin system on the Internet. After you install a Bitcoin wallet on your computer or smartphone it will generate your first Bitcoin “money” and you can create more whenever you need it. You can disclose your Bitcoin addresses to anyone you wish to so they can pay you with Bitcoin or you can pay them.
There is very little to no government involvement with Bitcoin, leaving behind little to no evidence to help with apprehension. Once you pay in Bitcoin, you are unable to retrieve your payment or to be refunded.
Criminals will go so far as to embarrass their target by placing a letter at their home, addressed personally to them, stating that their “infidelity” has been discovered and that they must pay using Bitcoin to have the evidence destroyed and their infidelity kept a secret. This is another type of scam!
Straight from the Criminal's Mouth
These are only a few of the scams that are being reported. Scammers have used the following lines to try to trick people:
- “We have a warrant for your arrest.”
- “You missed jury duty or a court date, and must pay a fine.”
- “Your (family member) is in prison and you need to bail them out.”
- “You must act now, or the offer won’t be good after today.”
- “You’ve won a free gift, vacation, or prize.” But you have to pay for “postage and handling” or other charges.
- “You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.”
- “You don’t need to check out the warrant (or company) with anyone.” The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone including your family, lawyer, accountant, etc.
- “You don’t need any written information about their company or their references.”
- “You can’t afford to miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”
Imposters pretend to be someone you trust to convince you to send money or personal information. They might say you qualified for a free government grant, but you have to pay a fee to get it. Or they might send phishing emails that seem to be from your bank asking you to “verify” your credit card or checking account number. Don’t fall for it!
- Phishing Emails Federal Trade Commission
- Spotting Imposters Scams and ReportingFederal Trade Commission
- If you spot a scam, report it at reportfraud.ftc.gov. Your reports help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies investigate scams and bring the people behind them to justice.
- Internet Crime Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) File a complaint with the IC3 at https://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx/ if you believe you have been the victim of an Internet crime or if you want to file on behalf of another person you believe has been such a victim.