INDIANA — Recently, the Indiana State Police Bremen Post has been contacted almost daily by concerned citizens that have almost become victims of scams or had loved ones become victims of scams.
This time of year is when the “IRS Scam” is seen again. This is where the caller claims that you have unpaid taxes and you need to pay or risk arrest. Many times you are directed to buy prepaid debit cards or wire money. The IRS will communicate via the mail and will not call you.
Another popular scam is the “Grandparent Scam.” In this scam you receive a call from a grandchild saying they need cash for an emergency. Many times this emergency is either because the “grandchild” is in jail or the hospital. Verify any type of family emergency with other family members.
The “Lottery Scam” is another scam that continues to deceive people. In this scam you may receive a call or e-mail informing you that you won a lottery but in order to claim your jackpot you must first pay taxes by sending money, either by wiring money or prepaid debit cards.
As a reminder, never give out personal information such as date of birth, social security number, or credit card number. Many of these scammers want you to make a hasty decision and may pressure you or use fear to get your money or personal information. Be aware that transactions made by prepaid card or wire transfer are nearly impossible to recover once sent.
The best defense against these scams is a well-informed public with a healthy dose of mistrust when receiving an unsolicited phone call or e-mail asking for money, a hasty decision, or personal information.
It is important for everyone to talk to their family about these phone scams and to have a plan in place should a scammer call you or someone you love. Because phone scams have become nothing short of an epidemic, being aware of potential scams is a great first step in protecting yourself from falling victim to one.