Public Service Announcement about Scams from Sergeant Hoyle of the Farmville Police department.
Scams are attempts to get you to give money to people. They can begin with a simple email or phone call. Some criminals will research a target and gather some information on them such as names of family members. This information can be gathered through a simple trolling of social media. They can use this information to scare or intimidate their target into giving them money. One method is to state that a family member is in jail or in trouble and needs money for bail. These criminals are preying on your emotions to get you to give them money. Often, they will ask for a wire transfer or payment by use of pre-paid cards. Once they have the transfer or the card number information, your funds are gone. They may threaten legal action against you, like calls from the IRS stating that you owe them back taxes or from your power company stating that you owe them a certain amount of money by a certain time that day or they will cut your power off. These ploys are fake. The IRS will not call you to ask for money. The power company will not ask you to pay them with pre-paid green dot cards. They may even ask you to verify your social security number. Don’t give out personal information or banking information to anyone over the phone. They may even ask for your mother’s maiden name in an attempt to open an account in your name that you will ultimately be responsible for.
Spoofing is a process where criminals call you from a local number that is being used through a computer connection. They are hoping that you will see the number and answer so that they can have a better chance of convincing you to give them information or money. If you are ever asked to send money via a wire transfer, chances are it’s a scam.
Businesses can also fall victim to scams. They may receive an email or phone call from what appears to be a corporate office. It may contain information or names from the office. Do not send any money, instead contact the corporate office and verify the information you have received. Don’t call the number listed in the message or email. Call the office directly.
Some of these scams start by stating that you have won a prize or lottery and all you have to do to claim the prize is pay for the taxes and processing fees. Do not send any money to claim a prize or obtain other funds. As the old adage goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Farmville Police Department at 434-392-9259 for assistance.