Helpful Tips on how to NOT be scammed!!
- Be careful of phone scams (which occur all seasons, not just summer time). Some of the more common ones are:
- A phone call from a distant relative who was arrested and needs bail money wired to him (or needs thousands of dollars in gift cards). First of all, courts don’t accept gift cards for bail. Secondly, you should NEVER wire money to someone who is in a situation you can’t verify. Just because the caller knows some family names doesn’t mean they are family. It is VERY easy to get family information in the 21st century (social media, the internet, etc.).
- A phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and telling you that there is a warrant for you due to unpaid taxes. Many times they tell you that the local police are on their way to your house to arrest you. They then tell you that you can pay off your overdue taxes with gift cards. The IRS doesn’t work that way. First of all, they don’t accept gift cards as payment. Secondly, they don’t issue arrest warrants for unpaid taxes.
- You receive a letter from a foreign government telling you that you won their lottery. To collect the money, you need to provide them your banking information so they can wire the money to you. NEVER PROVIDE BANKING INFORMATIN OVER THE PHONE. Lotteries don’t work that way. They don’t wire money to you. In short, you didn’t win the foreign lottery you never played.
- If you receive one of these calls, just hang up. If you fall victim to one of these phone scams, the chances of getting your money back (or even making an arrest) are EXTREMELY rare (we are talking “Elvis sighting” rare). Many times these scams are international in nature with callers using untraceable cell phones. If you receive a call and are unsure if it’s legitimate or not, call our County dispatch center at 717-664-1180 and ask to speak with an officer BEFORE PROVIDING INFORMATION, MONEY OR GIFT CARDS.