St. Clair County Sheriff Mat King is advising residents to be extra vigilant in watching for the latest scam to hit the area. The latest involves a suspect calling the victim saying he must buy Green Dot or other types of cards or they will be arrested. One person was told he had missed jury duty and had to buy a $400 Green Dot card and give the caller the confirmation number. The suspect had somehow rigged the call so that the Sheriff’s Office main number showed on the victim’s caller ID.
“I want everyone to know that the Sheriff’s Office does not make calls to collect money,” said Sheriff King. “If anyone receives that type of call, immediately hang up. Do not give out any personal information and do not purchase any type of financial transaction device. Then call our office to make a report.”
Sheriff King went on to say there are numerous types of scams that are occurring and likely will continue in the future.
To avoid being a victim of email or phone scams, Sheriff King has the following tips:
- Do not answer calls from unknown phone numbers. If you must pick up, refuse to engage with telemarketers over the phone. While some seem friendly, they may attempt to sell products or services you do not want or need. Or, they may attempt to gain access to your money. Do not worry about offending anyone. Firmly say, “Remove us from your calling list.” You needn’t provide an explanation. Then, hang up.
- Do not open emails you do not recognize. Avoid clicking on links that may bring you to fake websites that often look real. If you receive an email with spelling errors, it could be a red flag.
- If a company or individual tells you to make payments in the form of gift-cards, or tells you to keep their call a secret, it’s a scam.
- Register your phone number on the national do not call list, utilize caller ID to avoid answering unwanted calls from solicitors, or block numbers if receiving repeated calls.
- Anyone who contacts you to demand money, and threatens or harasses you for payments, should be reported to your local police. If you receive an unwanted call after your number was on the National Do Not Call Registry for 30 days, report it to the FTC.
Submitted by the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office