A New Scam To Have On Your Radar
Financial scams are at an all-time high. Please read below for a new scam we have recently come across.
Missed Jury Duty
Potential victims are being called by someone who identifies themselves as “sergeant (could be any name) from the Sheriff’s department of (the county you live in)” calling about an arrest warrant for missing jury duty. They will have a clever response as to why you have not received a notice in the mail but will claim the only way to clear your record and avoid arrest is to pay a “fine” that is due immediately. The scammer will have a fake dispatch radio in the background to make it sound like a real sheriff’s office. Additionally, they will give fraudulent info regarding a badge #, case #, and a false contempt of court file # to make it sound authentic.
Identify The Payment Method
The biggest thing to look for is the payment method. Typically, scammers will ask for a wire transfer, a Green Dot MoneyPak/ other prepaid cards, or a payment initiated at the local credit union. The reason they do this is to keep their identity hidden. Additionally, once the money is sent using these specific methods, it is very difficult and time-consuming to get your money back, if at all.
Steps to take if you receive a call from someone you think might be a scammer:
- Take down a name and call-back number and hang up.
- Contact your trusted advisor to determine the legitimacy of the call.
- Check with the governmental department referenced in the call (IRS, Sheriff’s Department, etc.)
- If the incident is fraudulent, do not call back and report the incident to the FBI. https://tips.fbi.gov/
What should you do if you receive a suspicious email?
- Do NOT click on any links within the email, especially the attachments. This is where the malware can be activated.
- Contact your trusted advisor to determine the legitimacy.
- Notify the FBI. 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324)
- For tax related scams, forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org and call the IRS helpline 1-800-829-1040
- If the email is a scam, permanently delete the email.
As always, remember that the scammers #1 tactic is to use fear to get what they want. If someone is using fear tactics on you, do your best to remain calm and focus on authenticating the request before taking any action.
We are here to help. If you feel like you might be getting scammed or have any questions, please give us a call at any time.