DUBOIS – The Pennsylvania State Police would like to remind citizens that scammers continue to conduct illegal activities in the area.
Scams are “easily committed on an unsuspected person.” If not careful, anyone can become a victim, said state police, adding scammers are “smooth talkers” and can get information out of people without them realizing it.
According to state police, everyone understands the dangers of providing credit card information. However, if the proper person obtains a little personal information, they have abilities to commit one of the most popular crimes, identity theft.
“Some victims of identity theft have lost thousands of dollars and in some cases spent years trying to get associated problems corrected,” said state police. While there are many varieties of scams, state police said most involve a telephone call, mail, etc. from a lottery, corporation or a foreign country.
Other scams, state police said, use online selling and auction sites. In most cases, the victim is instructed to cash a check, keep a small portion of the money and send the remaining amount to an address provided. Some scams, state police said, promise a larger cash prize by sending money back.
“The crime is the fact that the prize or product is non-existent and or the initial check is fraudulent,” said state police. If a person sends the amount required by personal check, the scammer not only cashes it and steals the money, but also obtains bank account information.
Another scam, according to state police, has become popular and involves people being called about a family member who is in legal trouble. The scammer usually asks to be quickly wired money for bail or to pay fines. The scammer, state police said, obtains information about family members on social media.
To thwart this scam, state police said people should ask questions of the caller that only a family member would know. These include extended family members’ names, mother’s maiden name, the birth dates of family members, anniversary dates or the names of current or past pets.
“The primary prevent tip to remember is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said state police. Anyone who believes they are a victim of a scam should save all information and promptly contact their local police department.