How To Protect Yourself From A Scam | New


The Athens County Sheriff’s Office recently saw an increase in phone scams. Thousands of dollars are paid to crooks every week by citizens of Athens County, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

They offered these tips to residents to avoid being scammed:

– NEVER make payment to someone using any form of gift card or prepaid payment card (or withdraw MONEY for an unknown person)

– Law enforcement will NEVER call to let you know you missed a court date or to get a warrant

– If you pay money to a scammer, we are usually unable

– Contact your financial institution before sending money

– Please speak with your elderly and vulnerable friends, neighbors and family about the signs of a scam so they can protect themselves against the possibility of financial loss

– Overpayment (you get paid and the scammer asks you to get some of the money back)

– Payment requests sent by credit card or gift card

– Threats or vulgar language

– Caller ID can be manipulated to fit the scammer’s agenda (known as impersonation. The call will appear as a local number or a legitimate business)

– Law enforcement cannot trace the origin of falsified calls or Internet scams (usually from abroad)

– The scammer can provide a fake name, employee number or badge number

– Funds transferred or loaded on a payment card are irrecoverable

– The caller may become vulgar if you refuse to comply (comments may be of a sexual nature or may threaten to come to your house)

– Scammers often specifically target older people

– Don’t be afraid to hang up and verify company or agency information

– Does that sound too good to be true?

– Is the caller threatening me?


– You do not need to contact law enforcement unless you have suffered a financial loss or provided personal information that could contribute to identity theft

– Appellant claims you owe IRS back taxes and may warn you about legal issues (pending lawsuit or jail time)

– You will be asked to pay or provide account information to avoid consequences

– Don’t trust threatening callers

– Hang up if you think the call is not legitimate

– Do not answer or return calls to unknown numbers

– Appellant claims you missed jury duty or a citation hearing date, may pretend to be law enforcement and will notify you of a warrant or other legal consequences

– The payment of a deposit will be requested by telephone

– Don’t trust threatening callers

– The caller can state that you risk jail time if you refuse to pay

– Legitimate law enforcement agencies will never ask for money or inform of a warrant over the phone

– Do not answer or return calls to unknown numbers

– If you think the call is not legitimate, hang up

– Don’t trust caller ID

– You may receive a letter or email informing you that a loan from an unknown company has been offered to you

– The scammer will ask you to send money to cover loan fees, service charges, taxes or prepayments

– The caller can inform you that you have not paid an unfamiliar loan and will ask for immediate payment


– You will be notified by phone, email or post that you have won a prize

– You may be required to send money to cover taxes or processing fees in order to claim the winnings

– Do not send money to unreliable sources

– The victim can become emotionally involved by communicating with a love through email, social media, etc.

– The person may say they need the money for any number of reasons

– Don’t send money to someone you’ve never met

– It is likely that the person you think you are communicating with does not exist

– Scammers post photos of popular or designer breeds and advertise dogs for sale

– The seller will charge additional costs for shipping, insurance, etc.

– Ideally, don’t buy dogs online without a face-to-face transaction

– Fraudulent websites may appear legitimate

– Carry out extensive research on breeders before entering into a purchase agreement

– Legitimate sales ads are copied, to include photos

– Tenants are convinced to send an application fee, a deposit or the first month’s rent

– Rent may seem unusually low with an excuse provided by the scammer (the landlord had to leave the country unexpectedly, etc.)

– Beware of real estate ads that do not show the full address

– Don’t send money if you haven’t verified your transaction

– Legitimate sellers can prevent this type of scam by clearly watermarking photos on sale items

– The phone call will notify a family member who has had an accident or has been arrested

– The caller can pretend to be the injured or distressed family member and ask for money for medical bills, attorney fees or bail

– Resist the urge to act immediately no matter how dramatic the caller is

– Attempt to contact the family member in question before taking any action

– Establish a safe word with family members or ask questions the scammer wouldn’t know

– To protect yourself from this type of scam, use online privacy settings to prevent scammers from accessing names and information of close family members

– Overpayment scams can take the form of items for sale on the Internet, suspected earnings or employment scams

– The victim will receive a check that looks real, even to some bankers

– The scammer will send more than the required amount and ask you to cash the check and return the remaining balance

– Your account will be held responsible for the fraudulent check

– Do not accept excess funds under any circumstances

– Only deal with reliable sources

– Job scams come in many forms:

– Cleaning or moving services

– Personal assistant opportunities

– The scammer will send a fraudulent check, often too expensive for the services

– Never pay a fee to become a “certified” secret buyer or be added to a list of available buyers

– Only accept job offers from reliable sources

– A pop-up on the device may indicate that a virus or malware has been detected on your computer

– The screen may prompt you to call a specific phone number, or the scam may originate over the phone first (the caller will ask you to verify your device)

– The scammer will diagnose a non-existent problem and ask you to pay for services (device repair, monthly / annual subscription fees)

– Do not click on unknown links and do not give control of your computer to an unknown source

– The caller will indicate that they belong to a well-known company or that they can use technical terms

– Shut down your computer immediately and contact legitimate tech support you trust

– Coupon scams and gift exchange scams are popular on social media

– The post office may inform you that the company is offering free money in honor of a special event and will ask you to share to receive the money / coupon

– This is an attempt to access personal information in your online profile

– Remember that for-profit companies usually don’t give free money

– Scammers will call to try to solicit donations for various causes

– Calls may appear to be from legitimate organizations

– Do extensive research on charities before donating

– Choose to donate to local causes

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