With technological advances, fraud has taken on new faces, specifically in the form of scams. The Logan City Police Department is committed to providing citizens with the resources and knowledge to combat these scams.
The scams are targeting citizens with many of them coming from online and phone scams. All scams have the same goal "take your money to make it theirs".
Occurrences of computer-related crimes are on the rise and can have devastating consequences for the victims. These crimes include, but are not limited to:
Fake Date/Romance Scams- After starting an online romance with a potential interest who is living abroad, they begin to ask you for money for emergency bills. Watch the video below for an example of a real romance scan.
Romance Scam Video
Warrant/Utility Scams- Receiving a call from someone claiming they are from the government or utility company and if you don’t pay immediately your services will be cut off or you will be arrested. They have been asking for payments in the form of gift cards. They are able to make the phone number appear to be from the actual Company or government.
Virus hoax/Ransomware- You are contacted by “Microsoft Windows Support” and told your PC has a virus. The scammer offers to resolve the problem immediately if you give them your credit card and/or remote access to your PC. They then hold your data for ransom until you pay, oftentimes in the form of gift cards.
Overpayment Scams- You will receive a check for more than an agreed price and the fraudster will ask you to send them the extra funds back via Venmo or gift cards. Don’t do this. Even though the check shows up in your account it can still take a few more days to be verified. You may be held responsible by your financial institution for the bad check.****NO NORMAL PERSON WOULD SEND YOU MORE MONEY THAN WHAT YOU ARE ASKING FOR AND THEN TRUST THAT YOU WILL SEND THE EXCESS MONEY BACK TO THEM!**** Here is a short video on fake check scams from the Federal trade commission.
Fake Check Scams Video
Phishing Scams- A Phishing scam is typically an email, letter, phone call, or even a text message to the victim indicating that they have won something and need to prove their identity in order to claim their prize. The sender asks for personal information, banking information, and small payments of money from the victim as a prerequisite to claiming the prize. Common scams are foreign lottery winnings, secret shopper requests, etc.
Hacking Scams- A hacking scam is typically sent to the victim via email stating that the victim needs to update their banking information or other account information. They then ask the victim to "sign in" to their accounts to update them. Once the victim signs in on the web page the hacker receives the victim's account information instead. This includes Paypal, Ebay, Credit Cards, banks, etc. ****REMEMBER!**** NO LEGITIMATE COMPANY WILL ASK YOU FOR PERSONAL AND/OR ACCOUNT INFORMATION IN THIS MANNER!
If you feel that you have been a victim of this type of crime, please contact your local police department. Download our pamphlet about what to do if you've been scammed here. The pamphlet is also available in Spanish here.
More information can be found at the following websites:
FBI-Scams and Safety
Department of Justice
Federal Trade Commission
Occurrences of identity theft are becoming more prevalent and can have devastating and far-reaching consequences. Victims of identity theft can sustain tax liability and damaged credit. Even arrest warrants or criminal histories can be generated by an offender using another person's identity. Complications resulting from identity theft can be ongoing and extremely difficult to remedy.
Basic precautions to avoid becoming a victim include securing sensitive personal information, periodically reviewing your financial records, and practicing good security measures when accessing the internet and e-mail.
If you feel you have been victimized, call the Logan City Police Department at (435) 753-755.
White-collar crime is common in Logan and becoming more prominent with Internet hackers obtaining credit card numbers over the Internet. Follow the guidelines listed below to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of white-collar crime:
Quick Check Tips
A common problem from bad checks results in several thousands of dollar losses each year in the City of Logan. In an effort to better serve customers, several things are often overlooked on potentially fraudulent checks. Not everything is foolproof, however, some items listed here may be potential red flags and bear further scrutiny before taking a check. They are as follows:
- Does the writing appear to have more than one author?
- Look at the overall appearance of the check. Has the check been "corrected"? Look for erasure marks, writing over letters and numbers. Note if the signature has been "touched up", or misspelled.
- Is there a pre-written series of numbers, such as a supposed driver's license number or social security number, credit card number, etc., written on the check that you did not witness? Ask for positive identification on these checks. Has the check been "endorsed" without you witnessing the signing?
- When identification is checked, does the check/receipt signature match the signature on the presented identification? Does the identification match or resemble the person presenting it? Does the identification number match the number written on the check? Is the identification "out-of-state"? Look at the identification presented, see if it appears to have been altered or changed in any way.
- When taking credit card orders over the telephone, when the purchased item is picked up or delivered, ask to see the actual credit card for which the number was used to complete the transaction. Check the person's identification and compare the signatures of both cards for consistency. ALWAYS check identification when accepting credit cards to ensure the person using the card is the authorized user.
- Ask yourself, "do I feel comfortable with this person walking out of my business with my merchandise from the check, credit card, or identification presented to complete the purchase?" Have I done all I can to prevent taking a loss on this purchase?
- Use some common sense when taking checks and credit cards. If you feel that something is wrong, 90% of the time it is. Check the person out, call your supervisor or the police, or just refuse the sale. You do not have to accept a check or credit card.
- Identity fraud occurs when someone unauthorized obtains your personal identification, name, date of birth, social security number, or any information that identifies you as an individual, and without authorization knowingly and intentionally uses this information to access your medical records, your financial records, or use your information in any fraudulent manner.
- DO NOT give out any of your personal information over the telephone. If in the event you are required to provide this information KNOW WHOM you are giving it to! Use caution and common sense!
- Check your bank statements and credit card statements regularly and report any irregularities or suspicions. Also, check your telephone and utility bills, know where your money is going and with whom you are talking.
- Any time someone contacts you by phone or mail to inform you that you have won a prize but you need to send fees (money) to cover any expenses, (tax, attorney fees, etc.) BEWARE!
- BEWARE and DON'T give out your personal information! Just tell them to deduct their fees from your winnings and send you the rest or toss the mail in the garbage. Exercise your rights. If you feel you have been victimized, call the Logan City Police Department at (435) 716-9400.
- When you believe you have received a forged or stolen check or ID, stolen credit card, or counterfeit money, retain possession of the item and call your supervisor and the police. As soon as possible, write down a description of the suspect and what transpired. Place the check, ID, money, or credit card in an envelope or plastic bag for fingerprinting and handwriting purposes.
- When you are contacted by telephone and asked for credit card numbers, account numbers, or other personal information, remember that you do not have to respond. Know who you are talking to! You do not have to talk to them. The longer they keep you on the telephone talking, the greater your chances of being scammed and losing your money or being sold something you do not really want. HANG UP THE TELEPHONE! Capturing and prosecution of telephone scams is extremely difficult. The best defense is to avoid talking to them.
- If the telephone calls persist or you feel victimized, contact the police and report it as soon as possible.
- Businesses, who deal with documents, credit cards, or any information containing names, date of birth, social security numbers, credit card numbers, or any personal information should run their documents through a good shredder. DO NOT dispose of these types of documents in the garbage. Too many dishonest people go through dumpsters and garbage specifically looking for this type of information to commit fraud.
- Mail fraud has become a very common crime over the past couple of years.
- Mailboxes have become a major target for such crimes.
- Checks, credit cards, and other personal information can easily be obtained from a mailbox.
- Checks can be treated with chemicals that remove the inked writing and then rewritten for large amounts and a new payee written in place of the intended one.
- Boxes of new checks can easily be forged.
The following are suggestions in preventing mail fraud:
- Pick up new checks, credit cards, and ID from your bank or post office box.
- Do not place bill payment(s), personal information in your mailbox; drop it off at the post office.
- Upon receipt of mail stating that you are a winner, discard immediately!
- If you feel you have been victimized, call the police.
In 1996, the US Treasury Dept began a revision of US currency in order to prevent counterfeiting. Several counterfeiting features were included in the US currency from the $5 note to the $100 note. These features include color-shifting ink, an addition of a watermark, micro printing, security thread, etc.