Broken Arrow police warn about scams

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Updated: 12/06/2012 3:14 pm Published: 12/06/2012 2:24 pm

The Broken Arrow Police Department is warning people about how to stay safe from scams.

Police say these scams include work from home, lottery winning, and requests for donations for a relative or organization.

Work from home

Police say the victim in this scam is contacted after posting a profile on a legitimate website. The suspect will offer a job to receive, re-package, and ship products out of the victim’s home; basically the victim is a “middle man” between a merchant and final customer. Police say these products are obtained through fraudulent means. The victim usually does not get paid and has shipped fraudulently obtained products for the suspect. The victim is now an unwitting co-conspirator in the fraud. Also, the victim often provides the suspect with their identity for payroll purposes, including name, address, phone number, and social security number. This makes the victim vulnerable for future scams.

Lottery Winnings

The victim is contacted via telephone with the good news of winning a lottery. The victim is requested to pay the taxes and fees prior to receipt of the winnings. Many times the winnings will include both cash and a new luxury car. The “taxes and fees” must be paid by wire transfer or over the phone. The transfer of the funds to the recipient is instantaneous and irreversible. The victim often has a monetary loss in the thousands and it is difficult for the victim to recover the loss.

Other common scams

•Requests to send money for a loved one who has been arrested or who is in the hospital.

•Requests to send money overseas to orphanages, missionaries, or military personnel who have been deployed.

•Get rich quick and easy money by working at home.

•Texts, phone calls, or e-mails from financial institutions that require you to provide personal information to “confirm” your identity

Ways to protect yourself or prevent fraud

•Check your bank account often for fraudulent transactions.

•Try to keep an eye on your credit card if you have to hand it to a salesperson or waiter/waitress

•Be suspicious of money making opportunities from strangers and job opportunities to work from home, especially if the job requires you to receive and ship packages

•Do not respond to e-mails if you are not sure of who the sender is (watch for misspelled words or incorrect English and Grammar) The scammer may be outside the country.

•Contact your financial institution directly if there are questions concerning your account. DO NOT reply to texts or e-mails.

•Make sure you are on the legitimate website of the retailer if you are making online purchases and look for the locked padlock on the address bar of that website

•Be wary of high pressure pitches to act immediately and/or require the electronic transfer of funds.

•If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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CRIME STOPPERS is a citizen-supported program that allows people to report criminal activities anonymously.

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To report a crime call 596-COPS or text a tip by following these directions:
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Visit the Crime Stoppers web site.
See Also: Webtips
OK Crime Prevention Network

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