Weekly Crime Prevention Tip From The Desk Of Sheriff Wayne Ivey
Over the past few weeks a number of our citizens notified us of various types of fraud schemes that were being utilized in the area. As such, I thought we would focus our Weekly Crime Prevention Message on how to avoid becoming the victim of a fraud scam that targets you over the telephone, on-line, through text messaging or even in person.
Ironically, the list of prevention methods to avoid becoming the victim of a fraudulent scam is very short. In fact there are only two things we really need to do to help protect ourselves against these types of criminals. Please familiarize yourself with the various types of scams and then avoid information sharing with people who we do not know. It’s really that simple.
Please apply the following techniques:
FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE VARIOUS SCAMS
One of the best defenses against becoming a victim of fraud is to have awareness about the different types of scams that are being utilized to target citizens. By researching the various fraud techniques you have direct knowledge of what to expect when someone attempts to target you with a scam. There are many sites on-line that offer information about the different types of scams, but my personal favorites are 419eater.com and krebsonsecurity.com both of which offer tremendous insight about the various types of fraudulent scams.
LIMIT COMMUNICATION WITH PEOPLE WE DON’T KNOW
The second step in this protective equation is to disconnect from the fraudster immediately and never share personal information with someone you don’t know. Remember, the fraudster can’t target you if they can’t communicate with you in some capacity. So, if we limit communication with unknown callers, then we essentially protect ourself from victimization.
A great method to avoid talking to someone we may not know is through caller ID and the answering machine. If you do not know who is calling, simply allow the call to go to voicemail. By using this technique we can determine who is calling us before we find ourselves having a conversation with someone who is trying to target us.
Another thing to keep in mind is that we must never engage in conversation with someone who contacts us by email or a pop-up on your computer. If you receive any email that asks you to do anything or for anything, then do not respond. For example, if the sender asks you for money, your address or to help them in any way to do something, then it’s a fraud and you are the TARGET!!
If you get a message or a telephone call about your credit card having suspicious activity, never talk to the person who called you and never call them back at the number they leave. Look on the back of your credit card and you will find an (800) number that you can call and feel secure in discussing matters pertaining to your account.
If you receive a call from a solicitor asking for money to help an organization, please hang up the telephone, because you have no way to tell if they are legitimate. The best thing to do if you want to donate money to an organization is to call that organization at a number you research and determine to be valid. Never give money or credit card information over the telephone or computer to someone who contacted you!!
A simple rule, if you receive a telephone call, email, or text message from someone that you do not know and they ask you for anything, immediately discontinue the conversation.
Please share this week’s message with all of your family and friends so we can do everything possible from becoming fraud’s next victim.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey