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Public Advisory - Telephone Scams
Public Advisory - Telephone Scams
On 11-05-15 at about 10:00 a.m., the Carbondale Police Department was dispatched to a local bank for a deception complaint. During the course of the investigation officers learned the victim received a call on 10-30-15 from the suspect identifying himself as a “detective.” The suspect told the victim he worked for Publisher's Clearing House and was calling to advise the victim they won a large cash giveaway. The suspect advised the victim in order to receive the money, a payment of a "considerable" amount, would need to be made to the clearing house. The victim did as instructed and sent cashier's checks via Western Union to locations in Florida and Jamaica. Once the victim was almost out of money, the suspect instructed the victim to shred all the Western Union documents and then to pour water on the shredded documents to make the ink run on the carbon copies. The suspect told the victim this was needed to be done to save her from paying taxes on the money. The investigation into the incident is continuing.
The Carbondale Police would like to offer the public the following tips to avoid being the victim of a telephone scam:
1) Avoid conducting business over the telephone. You have no way of verifying the caller’s identity or the legitimacy of their business.
2) Get all information in writing before you decide. This will give you time confer with trusted family members, friends, or business professionals.
3) Avoid quick sales pitches. Scammers rely on creating a sense of urgency from their victims.
4) Never send money to get cash prizes or other gifts. This includes any “registration” or “shipping” fees.
5) Be wary of a caller claiming you have won a prize, especially if you did not enter the contest. You cannot win contests or lotteries you did not enter.
6) Never “verify” account numbers or credit card information over the telephone. This is a trick to get you to reveal this information.
7) Beware of offers to “help” you recover money you have already lost. Scammers have posed as “law enforcement officers” claiming to get your money back for a fee.
8) Never send money over money transfer services (Western Union, Money Gram, etc…) to random people in different cities or countries.
9) If you feel you have become the victim of a scam, or are unsure about an offer, contact your local police department.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the City of Carbondale Police Department at (618) 457-3200. You may also call the Carbondale/SIU Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (618) 549-COPS (2677) or the Murphysboro/Jackson County anonymous tip line at (618) 687-COPS (2677). Anonymous tips may also be made by selecting the “Crime Stoppers” tab located on the main page of this website. Please help yourself, along with your county, its communities and the university campus by using these numbers if you witness, or have any information pertaining to, a crime. Cash rewards for information which leads to an arrest are also made anonymously. Remember, crime doesn’t pay, but Crime Stoppers does!