Have you ever been asked to wire money to a stranger? Have you ever been told you have won a lottery in a foreign country? Have you ever been asked to provide your personal information or bank account information over the phone?
Cache Valley has seen an alarming increase in overpayment scams and other Internet and email fraud, according to Logan City Police Detective Shawn Marshall. Det. Marshall and Detective Cody Olsen make up the fraud division of the Logan City Police Department.
On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Friday, Det. Marshall said these people know older people are likely to have land line phones and they might call and refer to them as, “grandma or grandpa.”
“Of course you throw out a name and they’ll run with that name,” Det. Marshall said. “Then the dialogue will continue.”
Det. Marshall said that the conversation will quickly turn into an emergency situation where the suspects need help.
“They become very convincing that they need you to send them/wire them money for a variety of reasons.”
Marshall cautioned against sending money or giving personal information to anyone without checking the caller out. He said there is a large increase in “overpayment scams” that target people of all ages and all households. In these scams, the perpetrators try to convince people that they have overpaid for a utility bill, asking for their banking information to reimburse them for the overpayment.
“If you have any questions, contact your local law enforcement agency,” Det. Marshall encouraged.