Howard Co. Police give tips on how to avoid scams

Posted at 3:46 PM, Jul 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-07 18:34:20-04

Howard County Police are reminding the public to be wary of unsolicited and suspicious phone calls. Police said they could be scams.

The alert from police comes a month after a local bank contacted officers. An employee of the bank become concerned that an elderly woman was falling victim to a scam.

Police said that the customer was trying to wire a large amount of money to an address in Kentucky. An investigation showed that the woman got a phone call claiming she'd won millions of dollars and a car in a foreign lottery.

To claim the prize, however, she was told she had to pay taxes and fees.

When she was unable to wire the money through her bank, she sent $8,000 in cash through UPS. Police, working with authorities in Kentucky, were able to stop the shipment and recover the money.

Police are taking this opportunity to remind people to be wary of phone calls that seem "too good to be true."

"Residents should share this information with family, friends and neighbors who may fall victim to scams and check in with them often," police said in a statement.

Here's a list of some commonly-used tactics that scammers use to try to get money:

  • You won a prize or inherited money, but have to pay fees first.
  • You won the lottery, but have to pay fees first.
  • You owe taxes to the IRS and must pay a fine to avoid arrest.
  • A friend or family member is in trouble and needs you to send them money.
  • You got a check for too much money and need to send back the extra.

"Wiring money is like sending cash," officials said. "Do not wire money or send cash to people you do not know."

Howard County Police encourage members of the public who fall victim to a scam, or who know someone who is, to contact police.

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