Scam Alert: City of Lyndhurst, Ohio Police Department
Original Release: 3/7/2017
The Dos and Don'ts of Avoiding Scams
Con artists are not always easy to spot. They can be friendly or persuasive, even helpful. They can also be aggressive and insistent.
When dealing with a telemarketer you believe is fraudulent, your best protection is to just hang up the phone. If you think that is rude, tell these callers politely that you are not interested, you don't want to waste their time, and don't want them to call back. Then hang up.
Never give out your personal information over the phone or Internet unless you have initiated the contact. Legitimate business callers will never ask you for this information over the phone.
You can further protect yourself with the following DOS and DON'TS:
DO donate only to recognized charities.
DO reject high pressure sales methods. Ask the caller to mail or email more information.
DO be very suspicious of a phone call or email purporting to be from a relative who needs money for an emergency. Often the relationship is a "grandchild" seeking help from a grandparent. Check with someone else who knows him or her before sending money.
DO be very suspicious of any transaction in which you are asked to pay with wire or money transfers, prepaid money cards, or gift cards. Scammers choose these payment methods because it is virtually impossible for consumers to trace or reverse the charges.
DO be aware of the computer repair scam. It may come in a phone call from someone saying your computer is at risk, and you must follow their instructions to correct the problem. The con artist might claim affiliation with Microsoft, Windows, or a legitimate-sounding anti-virus software company. If the warning message is received online, it may state the computer has a virus or other serious problem. The message often looks official and includes a telephone number to call for tech support. The victim is then persuaded to let the scammer "fix" the problem for a price, often hundreds of dollars.
DO be aware of the IRS scam in which someone purports to work with the Internal Revenue Service and that you owe money. The scammer will be aggressive and convincing and threaten a lawsuit, imprisonment or other enforcement action.
DON'T let anyone rush you into signing anything-an insurance policy, a sales agreement, a contract. Read it carefully and have someone you trust check it over.
DON'T agree to receive packages to hold or ship to someone you met on the internet.
DON'T cash checks or money orders received through an online transaction without first confirming their legitimacy.
DON'T do business with anyone who offers to send a delivery service to collect your donation or payment for something you have not yet ordered or received.
DON'T make a donation or buy a service in exchange for the promise of a guaranteed sweepstakes winning.
Oftentimes scammers will target our senior citizens. The very best way to help is to educate ourselves and communicate with our loved ones, friends and neighbors to remind them to be on guard against scams.
Chief Rick Porrello
City Of Lyndhurst, Ohio Police Department