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Fraudulent Money Scams Continue in Douglas County

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) continues to receive numerous reports of fraudulent schemes involving money requests.

Beware of Fraudulent Money Scam variations: 

  • Imposter Scams – The scammer will contact you via phone or email and claim to be a law enforcement officer, a government agent (such as IRS), a debt collector, a utility company representative, or a bail bondsman. The imposter will often threaten to issue an arrest warrant, contact law enforcement, shut off a utility, or arrest a relative, unless immediate payment with a pre-paid credit or debit card, Green Dot MoneyPak or other wire transfer is made.
  • Grant Fraud or Lottery Scams – The scammer will contact you with “news” that you are a recipient or winner of a grant or lottery prize. In order to receive the grant or collect your lottery winnings, the scammer says you have to pay fees or taxes right away via pre-paid credit or debit card, Green Dot MoneyPak or other wire transfer. Sometimes the scammer will send you a check as an advance to “help” cover taxes and fees, with the empty promise of releasing the rest of the funds after you pay taxes/fees with a MoneyPak. The check, of course, is later discovered to be fake.
  • Online Auction/Sale Scams – The scammer will post online ads for goods or services and request payment by pre-paid credit or debit card, Green Dot MoneyPak or other wire transfer. The goods or services don’t arrive and the “seller” is unreachable.
  • Romance Scams – Scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and will go to great lengths to begin a long-distance relationship with you. At some point the fake profiler will tell you about a financial hardship or an ill family member and ask for you to send money via pre-paid credit or debit card, Green Dot MoneyPak or other wire transfer.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reminds citizens to be wary of solicitations requesting you to pay fees or fines via a pre-paid credit or debit card, Green Dot MoneyPak or other wire transfer.  These types of contacts to citizens are scams.  Please review the tips listed below.

Tips to avoid becoming a victim:

 

  • If you are contacted by someone identifying himself as Law Enforcement and demanding money, simply hang up and call your local law enforcement agency immediately. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reminds citizens that no law enforcement agency contacts citizens by phone, e-mail or regular mail and tells them to pay fees/fines by wiring money, using pre-paid money cards, using a money telegram, or using similar methods. 

 

  • Visit Grants.gov or Govloans.gov sites to find grants and loans available thru the government. Don’t be fooled by other sites that have ‘government’ or other official words in the title.

 

  • If you receive a check along with a request for a pre-paid credit or debit card, Green Dot MoneyPak or other wire transfer fee payment, be wary.

 

  • Don’t use pre-paid credit or debit card, Green Dot MoneyPak or other wire transfer to pay taxes or fees to claim “winnings” on lottery or prize promotions.

 

  • If something doesn’t feel right – pay attention to your instincts and don’t become a victim.