FRAUD NEWS RELEASES
News Release 08-15-11 Another Scam Targets Elderly in South Lewis County
The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office want to ensure no more elderly citizens fall victim to a recent scam hitting Lewis County.
The most recent scam targeting the elderly in Lewis County consists of suspects calling citizens and telling them they have won huge lotteries. The suspects then instruct the citizens to wire money or send a money order “for a winning fee”, before they can collect their winnings.
Detectives have taken reports from a few victims so far. Victims have been from Toledo, Winlock, and Vader.
One of the victims, a 91 year old female, sent $1400.00 in hopes of receiving over a million dollars in “winnings”.
It is believed the suspects originate and are working out of Jamaica.
Detectives are planning on providing more education on this scam and others targeting elderly adults in the near future.
Sheriff Steve Mansfield said, “If it seems too good to be true, it is. Real lotteries don’t ask you to pay money up front before you receive your winnings. If you are confused, unsure, or just want to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate person or company, call our office. Education about scams and fraud is the most effective way to deal with this problem. We are more than happy to help our senior citizens ensure they are not being scammed. For those of you who have elderly parents, friends, or neighbors, make sure you take the time to talk about these types of scams.”
Medicare Beneficiaries Urged to Be on the Look-Out for Phone Scams
Seniors and people with disabilities should be aware of a scheme that asks Medicare beneficiaries for money and checking account information to help them enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. NO Medicare drug plan representative can ask a person with Medicare for bank account or other personal information over the telephone.
New Twist on an Old Email Scam
Unsolicited offers from people outside the US offering money to anyone that will assist in the transfer of funds to people living in the US. The initial contact is by Email and offers 10% of the money sent to the person assisting in the transfer. Then comes the company check via FedEx with instructions to cash the check, deduct the 10% handling fee, then obtain a money order, and forward the funds per their instructions. Later it is learned the company check is a forgery and the victim is out the whole amount.
Email ID Thefts
Email from a company you may do business with that indicates someone has attempted entry into your account. It then asks you to go to a website and verify your account information to re-activate your account. The website will initially ask you to enter your account and password information. The web page is a fake and is only there to steal your account and ID information. The key point to look at is the first Email – it is not address to you, but to “Dear Customer.” Remember, the companies you do business with know you by name.
See the links below for additional fraud information.
National Internet Fraud Watch Information Center http://www.fraud.org/welcome.htm
Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection http://ftc.gov/bcp/index.shtml
Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Site http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
Washington State Office of the Attorney General http://www.atg.wa.gov/FileAComplaint.asp
Free Annual Credit Reporthttp://www.annualcreditreport.com