Police report scams, warn consumers

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PERRY COUNTY – There is seldom a week that goes by without local police officers receiving a call about a scam. Many times, the person on the receiving end of the attempted fraud is smart enough to hang up the phone, throw away the e-mail or tear up the bogus check accompanying a surprise rebate or lottery winning.

But too many times, people fall prey and lose money to scams. “Here recently we have had several complaints of scams. One lady sent a significant amount of money once someone scammed her into believing her grandson was locked up and he needed money to bond out,” Tell City Police Lt. Alan Malone said. “She was elderly and believed her grandson was in trouble. She did not think to check with his parents to see what was going on.”

The basic rules police departments, Better Business bureaus and consumer advocates have preached for years still hold true. Never give out private information about your bank account, Society Security number or credit or debit cards. Banks don’t ask for that information over the phone and legitimate lotteries don’t call people over the phone or ask winners to send checks, money orders or wire transfers of cash to pay taxes or processing fees.

“We have also received complaints from people saying they have received calls stating they have won money and they needed to purchase Green Dot Cards with money loaded on them to pay the taxes. They are then to give the number on the card,” Malone said. “We all know this is all too good to be true but I think they are targeting elderly people.”