But somecriminals are getting clever, using new technology to their advantage.
So, it'simportant that we lookout for ourselves, but do you know how?
One victim, who asked not to be identified, lost $1400 to aphone scam. The caller impersonated lawenforcement and demanded the man pay a fine within hours or be arrested.
Imaginereceiving a phone call from someone claiming to be from the state sheriff'soffice, to issue an authorized warrant for your arrest.
The person then asks you to put money on a pre-paid debitcard and give them the number.
Would youknow what to do?
"Whenyou feel that you're being threatened sometimes logic does not prevail and theyuse a threatening tone they perpetuate that they are from law-enforcement, againthat's very frightening for consumer," said Jessie Schmidt, Branch Manager forthe Better Business Bureau.
Andthe caller may try to play on your emotions.
"They're going to want to keep youon the phone. They're going to threaten you, they're going to say the FBI'sgoing to show up, or police are going to show up in a matter minutes if youdon't do this, and it's all part of the scam designed to instill fear so peoplewill go out and get that money card right away," said Officer Sam Clemens,Sioux Falls Police Department.
Beware,these criminals have been known to disguise the phone number they are callingfrom. And try to be vigilant.
"Nevergive your personal information out over the telephone," said Schmidt.
"We don'task for money over the phone," said Officer Clemens.
Ifyou think you may have been scammed, there are some steps to take.
"Contactyour local police department, contact the Better Business Bureau, contact theAttorney General's office, but yes that's there just keep going back to thewell to get more and more and more," said Schmidt.
Remember,money cards act like cash. Once the scammers get the number on the back of thecard, the money is gone.
"Theunfortunate situation is that the majority of these have an offshore eitherEastern Europe or Jamaica and so there really is very little recourse oropportunity [to] return any sort of monies that are lost as result of that,"said Schmidt.
If you receive aquestionable call the Better Business Bureau recommends getting the person'sname and affiliation and tell them you will call back. Call the agency theyclaim to represent and it will tell you if the call is legitimate.
Bythe way, October is Cyber Security Month, something to think about no matter where you are orwhat device you are using.
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