GCSO warns against scams, fraud

By Matt Lasley - mlasley@civitasmedia.com

The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) has recently received numerous complaints regarding frauds and scams that have resulted in Grayson County citizens’ losing thousands of dollars.

Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins has sought to advise local residents of the varieties of scams and frauds being reported, as well as offer tips on how to keep from becoming a victim.

“It is important to remember to safeguard all of your personal identifying information when using the internet or discussing any matter on the telephone or through text messages,” Chaffins wrote in a news release. “Do not provide your date of birth, Social Security number, bank account (checking or savings) numbers, credit card numbers, or any other personal or financial information to online or telephone solicitors. We can also expect more of these types of fraud as scammers will be expecting citizens to receive tax refunds in the coming weeks.”

Many of these scammers prey on the elderly, but the GCSO is asking citizens to also be aware of their children’s online activity, as scammers will seek to acquire personal information from them, as well.

“If a deal seems ‘too good to be true’ then 100 percent of the time, it is,” Chaffins said in the release.

According to Chaffins, one recent scam targeted an elderly female whose husband had just passed away.

Scammers used that event to convince her to give them one of her credit card numbers under the guise of needing to have his name removed from her account, Chaffins said.

“Once they got the number, they charged over $4,000.00 to that credit card,” said Chaffins.

Other recent scams have included online loan applications requesting money for “administrative fees;” unsolicited lottery winnings requesting money for “release of funds;” and imposter scams involving a purported relative, such as a grandchild, claiming to need money for bail/car rental/medical expenses, etc., according to the release.

Chaffins said many of these scams originate outside of the United States, including Africa, Russia, Europe, and the Caribbean.

The GCSO advises citizens to remember that common internet scams generally prey upon individuals who believe they are receiving a large benefit or thing of value, many times unsolicited or “too good to be true.”

“Another reminder is that the next couple of months is tax season,” Chaffins said. “Neither the IRS or any other federal agency will call you and threaten to arrest you if you do not pay your taxes or pay fines, which you may or may not owe, if you don’t send them money immediately. This is a common scam during this time of the year. Just hang up the phone and/or block their number.”

Additional frauds and scams include, but are not limited to:

*Work at Home Scams

*Weight Loss Claims

*Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams

*Fake Check Scams

*Imposter Scams

*Mystery Shopper Scams

*Bogus Apartment Rentals

*Miracle Cures

*Debt Relief Scams

*Pay-in-Advance Credit Offers

*Investment Schemes

*The “Nigerian” Email or Letter Scam

*Online Dating Scams

*Money Transfer or Deposit Scams

*Tech Support Scams

*IRS Return/Arrest Warrant Scams

*Personal Loan Scams

Because many of these schemes originate outside the United States, money already sent to the scammers is not recoverable by law enforcement, according to Chaffins.

“However, if you feel you have been a victim of fraud or a scam, and you need documentation for your financial institution, you may contact the Sheriff’s Office at 270-259-3024, and we will try our best to accommodate them,” Chaffins said.

For additional information related to possible frauds and scams, visit the FBI Internet Fraud Webpage at https://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud.

By Matt Lasley


Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.

Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.

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