Police warn of increase in scams

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There are many different types of scams in circulation right now and they target people of all ages and all households. Cache Valley has been experiencing an increase in fraudulent scams. There are several new scams intent on separating you from your hard earned money.

An unsolicited phone call from someone claiming to represent your utility company demanding immediate payment for an overdue payment is such a scam. They claim that your check did not clear the bank or that they have not received a payment and that charges are overdue. Be careful, these persons will ask you to pay with credit card or more commonly money grams, or green dot payment cards. They will then provide a telephone number. Utility companies do not operate this way. If you have questions call the utility company on their published phone number or visit them directly.

During economic hard times finding a job can be hard. If you are asked to work for a company which wants you to be an offsite shipping location be cautious. Many unscrupulous persons are asking innocent persons to receive packages from reputable companies and then re-package and reship them elsewhere. This is a becoming common scam. The packages are frequently going overseas and the payment for the goods is usually done with stolen credit card numbers. Don’t find yourself in this situation. If it seems strange or too good to be true it probably is illegal.

Have you ever won the lottery in a foreign country? Have you ever been asked to wire money to a stranger? Have you ever been asked to provide your personal information or bank account information over the phone? There are a few questions you should ask yourself before you send your hard earned money to anyone.

Did you sign up for the contest or lottery you were told that you won? Do they ask you to wire them money to pay for processing or other fees?

If selling an item, did they send you more money than your asking price, and then ask you to send the rest back to them or a third party?

Do they ask for your personal information, such as name, birth date, social security number, or bank account numbers over the phone or through emails?

Do they threaten you with arrest or civil action unless you pay immediately over the phone?

Did you receive a check or money order in the mail with instructions to cash it, keep as small amount, and then wire the rest back to them or a third party?

Remember, your first instinct is usually right. Let’s work together and keep your money where it belongs, in your hands, not in the criminals’. If you have any questions please contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance.

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