|APD Warns of Scammers|
Published: Friday, 07 September 2012 07:17
The Alameda Police Department (APD) urges residents to be aware of phone and Internet requests for money, especially when the person on the other end asks for money by way of a wireless transfer service.
"Grandchildren" in need might call victims and say that they just won the lottery or a sweepstakes and need only to pay the taxes.
Nigerian scams — so-called from their country of origin and also known as "419" scams after the section of the Nigerian law that targets scammers — are types of advance-fee fraud, one of the most common types of confidence frauds. Perpetrators ask victims to put money up front as a show of faith, with the promise of receiving an even greater amount later.
In other types of scams perpetrators pose as the IRS, or as your bank or your credit card company and ask for personal information.
Seniors have a tendency to fall victim to scams because their hearts strings are pulled by these predators. The scammers may provide the names of friends or family members, leading the victim to believe the call is a legitimate request for money.
Once the victim sends the money, it is almost impossible to recover the loss.
If you receive a request for money, take the time to verify the information with a trusted friend or family member before sending money.
Signs that you may be dealing with a scam include:
• A caller warning you to act now or you will miss out on an opportunity.
• A caller asking you to pay fees or taxes for a gift or a prize.
• A caller assuring you that you do not need to verify information with anyone.
As a general rule:
• Do not send money to someone you do not know.
• Do not give out personal information over the phone.
• Be leery of all requests or transactions asking for money via a wireless money transfer service.
If you have received one of these requests and need advice, contact APD's COPPS Unit at 337-8305.