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Dedham police highlight common scams

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  January 29, 2013 08:59 AM

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Following a week with multiple attempted scams in town, Dedham police issued an alert asking residents to beware of common ploys. Police urged residents not to give out personal information over the phone or via e-mail.

Police highlighted the following common scams.

Offers to lower interest rates: The call begins with a recording making an offer to lower your credit card interest rate. Then you are switched to a live agent who collects your credit card number, its expiration date, your name and address, and sometimes your Social Security number. The information is then used by the telemarketers to commit identity theft with your card.

Fake bank alert messages: A fake message from a local bank says that your card is being suspended and that you need to call a phone number to activate it. The number connects you to a person who asks you to verify your account information (card number, name, address, social security number, date of birth, etc…). Once the person has your personal information, they can use it to commit identity fraud. If you have a question about your bank account, contact your bank directly.

Prize distribution center scam: This scam involves the claim that you are the winner in a sweepstakes or a lottery. The goal of the scheme is to entice you to make a relatively small payment, often by purchasing a gift card, promising that a much bigger prize will be sent to you. The promised prize will not arrive.

False check scam: The victim will receive a check in the mail and by contacted by e-mail or telephone stating that the check was for too much money and asking the victim to return the excess money but keep the rest. Several days later the bank will report that the check is no good and the victim loses the money.

A similar twist is that the victim is sent a check for winning a sweepstakes and the sender asks the person to send money owed on taxes on winnings. Once again, the bank will ultimately tell the victim that the check is no good.

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