I couldn’t fall prey to a scam!
That’s what everyone thinks. But, there are so many scams out there that if you are in the right situation, you might get taken off guard. For instance if you had a recent problem with your credit card or bank account, you might be more vulnerable to a scam saying your account has been compromised.
The most recent scams EPD has seen this week:
1. a person signed up to be a secret shopper. They were sent money orders to complete the work. While the first money order went through without an inkling of any problems, the subsequent ones were counterfeit.
2. A rental scam in which someone takes an actual home they don’t own and puts it onto an Internet site ‘for rent.’
3. EPD sent out a news release on Friday about bail scams, where the suspect is telling the victim that they need to send money for bail, or that they have a warrant.
It is easy to get taken in, even if you are usually suspicious of scams. Many scams try to alarm you or scare you. Others just prey on your situation. Don’t be fooled. Call the EPD non-emergency line, 541.682.5111 if you live in Eugene and get such a call.
Scammers trick you into handing over your cash, personal I.D., checking account numbers, and credit card information any way they can. There are so many scams out there: grandchild scam, secret shopper scam, foreign lottery scam, Craig’s list check scams, and more. A list of scams is provided on EPD’s website (http://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11128). This document covers some of the most common scams we’ve seen in our area, but new ones are popping-up all the time.
The Eugene Police Department would like to remind people to follow their instincts and never feel embarrassed about confirming the identity of a caller. This can be accomplished by contacting the represented agency directly via a published contact phone number and asking to speak with the individual directly or confirm the information with the agency’s non-emergency phone number. EPD’s non-emergency number is 541.682.5111. To report a scam, you can also call the EPD crime tip number at 541.682.8888. Also, if you receive a call of this nature, please report the activity to www.ic3.gov.
These cases provide an opportunity for a reminder on how to avoid becoming the victim of fraud. Scams are cyclical in nature. Eugene Police recommend to remain careful and skeptical of callers:
• If someone asks you for your cash, credit card numbers or other personal information-especially if you don’t know them well-the safest move is to refuse their request and check with the police, or find an independent way to contact a legitimate business and follow up rather than responding right away to the caller.
• Don’t give out personal or financial information to someone who calls you. If you are unsure, hang up and independently find the phone number of the alleged represented agency and call yourself. A law enforcement agency will not ask you for this type of information or request that money be sent by way of money order for any reason.
• Beware of high pressure techniques, such as the need to give information or make a decision on the spot.
• If it sounds quirky or weird, it probably is.