The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has seen a recent increase in scams being perpetrated on citizens in Lincoln County. We are working with local banking institutions to thwart this theft by educating the public and banking members as to what specifically is being done in these scams and what to look out for. As always, you can contact your local law enforcement for assistance if you suspect you are being scammed or have questions.
In our recent scams, we are finding that generally an older aged person is being contacted by phone, email or pop-up on their computer. The scammers allege that the victims identify has been comprised or a loved one is in jail or has a warrant and it needs to be taken care of before they come and make an arrest.
No law enforcement or Federal agency will ever ask you to post a bond, pay a fine using a gift card, send cash through the mail or purchase Bitcoin. In several recent scams, victims were asked to withdraw large amounts of cash at the bank and either take it home or purchase Bitcoin with it. Once the Bitcoin is purchased or cash sent via mail or another service, the victim is out the money.
Another indicator that you are involved in a scam is the person you are in contact with will want to be on the phone with you while you make the withdrawal. If this is the case, have a bank employee talk to them to verify what is going on.
Please take your time and listen to your bank employees if they express concern about your withdraw. They are trained in what they do and could help prevent you from losing your money.
If you have been the victim of this type of scam, please make sure you report it to the appropriate law enforcement in the area that you live in. While it is very hard to get your money back due to the nature of this type of scam, we are working with the Department of Homeland Security who have the tools to investigate these crimes nationwide.
Again, if any of the following lines are used, just hang up and block the number. YOU ARE BEING SCAMMED!!
1. When someone contacts you first, you never can be certain they are telling the truth. You don’t know who they are whom they say they are. Faked caller ID is common in these scams, having a local area code such as (308). Additionally, email address can be faked.
2. An unknown person calls you and asks for personal information such as bank accounts, social security number or anything else. It is always a scam, hang up block the number.
3. Nobody is ever going to call you to give you large sums of money, an easy loan or big prize. It’s always a scam, hang up and block the number.
4. Someone calls and offers you anything that you must pay up front for, its always a scam, hang up and block the number.
5. Legitimate business never ever asks you to wire money, send gift cards or deposit cash into bitcoins. It is a scam every time, hang up and block the number.
Remember you were doing fine just before the phone call. If you have any thoughts the scammer was legitimate, contact local law enforcement. Local law enforcement will know. These scumbags make a living at stealing and are very convincing, so be very skeptical and remember you can always hang up and block the number.