HCSO warns about Scams

Lately, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of complaints from citizens who are getting telephone calls from Scammers trying to gain access to their hard earned cash. These crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year.

Here are a few facts and tips to protect yourself and others:

• If someone asks you to wire money, or provide your bank account or credit card information over the telephone, IT’S A SCAM.

• Anytime you have to pay to get a prize (this includes purchasing Green Dot gift cards from Wal-Mart), IT’S A SCAM.

• Most reputable companies don’t oversee sweepstakes and none of their staff is involved in giving out sweepstakes prizes. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will go after SWEEPSTAKES SCAMS.

• If an FTC case results in refunds, you can find the details at ftc.gov/redress.

• Most reputable companies such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, Publisher Clearing House, etc will have information about this specific scams on its fraud alerts page.

• If anyone offers you a service and ask you to wire money or purchase gift cards, IT’S A SCAM

• If you receive a call from a credit card company and they want you to provide or verify you credit card number DON’T….IT’s A SCAM

• Threats from law enforcement to arrest you for unpaid bills, IT’S A SCAM

• If you have received a telephone call or letter in the mail and suspect this is a scam, hang up. Contact your nearest law enforcement agency and report it

• If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, speak with someone you trust about it, don’t hesitate to speak with a law enforcement officer about it

• If you think that a family member or friend has become a victim of a scam, encourage them to report it

• If you encounter this or other scams, report it to the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) or ftc.gov/complaint

• Talk to your friends and family about scams. Visit FTC.gov/PassItOn to find out how.

And finally share this information with your family and friends. Ask them to share with their FB friends and help us spread the word. Check back for more information on some of the more popular scams and those that are being reported in this area.

The Caloosa Belle is published every Thursday.

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