He says this past week, two different scams were reported.
The first report was from an elderly woman who received a call that her late husband had won the lottery. The caller allegedly was in the United States and was planning on coming to Sheldon to give her the $2.7 million in proceeds. In return, she was to send them some money to some address in Jamaica. She became suspicious and didn’t give them anything.
The second person wasn’t as lucky. This person was looking for a part time job and was looking on the internet and clicked on a secret shopper ad. This person thought it would be a neat part-time job. The company sent this person money orders which they were to cash. They were allowed to keep some of the money and needed to Western Union the rest of it to an address in Manilla. They fell for the scam, cashed a money order, wired the rest of the money to Manilla, and lost $680.
Bolkema says that if you receive anything wanting you to send or wire money anywhere outside the United States, DON’T DO IT!
The chief says the public needs to be reminded that, if something seems to be too good to be true, it’s because IT IS. If you legitimately win some lottery, you won’t need to pay anything, says Bolkema.
Bolkema says it’s unfortunate when anyone falls victim to scams, but scammers target the elderly more than anyone else.
Bolkema says people should always be very cautious and suspicious if they are asked to wire money or if they mail you a money order and ask you to send or wire them the extra.
Scams that have been reported to the Sheldon Police Department:
-the “grandma, I’m in Jail in Canada or Mexico”, “don’t call my folks”, “wire me some money to an address in another country and I’ll tell my parents later”
-you advertise your car for sale on the internet, someone offers to buy it, they mail you a money order for more than the purchase price and you wire them the rest
-callers call you wanting your bank information so they can update the amount of social security you are getting
-winning any lottery prizes (such as lotteries from foreign countries, lotteries from casinos in the US, winning the Readers Digest Sweepstakes, etc, etc, etc)
-receiving an e-mail saying someone tried to hack into your bank account, wanting you to enter new password information via the internet (referred to as phishing)
-callers reportedly being your credit card company, saying that someone misused your card, requesting you to confirm your information with them
-someone befriending you on a Christian dating website. This friend asked to send the victim electronics and shoes and then have the victim send that property to an address in Nigeria. (the property had been purchased with stolen credit cards)
-there are too many other types of scams to list them all.
“People need to be aware that there are hundreds of scams going on. Many of these scams are done against older people, relying on the fact that they are used to taking people at their word. Never give your banking or personal information out to anyone. Be very cautious about e-mails you receive from any unknown person or companies (most are either scams or computer viruses)
If you have a concern or suspicion about something, talk to your local bank or contact your local police department. Just because a money order or check appears to be legitimate, many times they are not. If you cash the money order/check, you probably will have to reimburse your bank if it comes back as counterfeit.”
Chief Lyle Bolkema