Common Scams

IDENTITY THEFT

Identity theft occurs when the “thief” uses your name, date of birth, address, social security number or virtually any other type of identifying type information to commit crimes against your credit.  The thieves are able to assume control of your existing assets, such as bank accounts.  In many cases, thieves will open new accounts or obtain loans using your information.  Many times the victim is unaware of the frauds that have been committed against his/her credit until they are applying for a loan themselves-and declined.

ELECTRIC CO SCAM
Phone calls from subjects representing electrical companies threatening to shut off power to business unless payment made (Green Dot cards)

GRANDPARENT SCAM
WATCH- Caller is calling on behalf of a loved one (grandchild, etc) advising loved one needs money for bail, etc.

IRS SCAM
WATCH- Caller advises they are an agent from IRS and threaten imminent arrest unless payment is immediately made (usually via Green Dot cards)

LOTTERY SCAM 
Caller/letter/ email advises that you have won the lottery (usually a foreign or out of state lottery), claims you need to pay taxes on winnings prior to receipt of winnings (usually via Western Union). One township resident fell victim to this over three times resulting in losses over $25K.

MICROSOFT WINDOWS/COMPUTER SCAM 
WATCH- Caller advises that they are from Microsoft and need to perform a service on computer.  Once victim provides info to computer (usually via a link), caller threatens victim to make payment for services or computer will be infected with a virus (which they will legitimately do if provided access to computer)

New variants of Ransomware, known as CryptoLocker or Cryptowall, are spreading via spam emails, drive-by downloads, or malware already on your computer.  Once you’re infected, crypto-ransomware hijacks all your files, locks them up with unbreakable encryption, and demands a ransom in $300-$500 bitcoins to unscramble them.

REAL ESTATE SCAM
Caller contacts potential victim about a property they may own (usually a time-share or vacation property) and offers large rental revenue through their services.  Demands fees up front. One township resident fell victim to this and suffered over $50K in losses.

EMPLOYMENT SCAM
Victim sent email from an “agency offering an employment opportunity”.  Sends victim a check (fraudulent, requests they cash it, keep some money, and send remainder to another party via Western Union.  

MYSTERY SHOPPER SCAM
Contact initiated with victim through email.  Sent her a check (fraudulent) and has shopper shop at local stores and buy Green Dot cards and provide

GRANT SCAM
Caller advises victim that there are federal government funds available through a grant and request banking info to have money routed to victim. 

CREDIT CARD COMPANY SCAM
Caller purports to be from your credit card company (usually popular banks or generic MasterCard/Visa, etc), and claims the need to verify information which prompts victim to provide card number, personal information, etc.