The Winchester Police Department wants your money to stay with you in 2014. The police department has been receiving a number of reports of fraud and wants to educate the public on how to prevent from becoming a victim.
On January 30th officers received a report of credit card fraud. The victim had met someone online who told her that if she loaded $400 on a prepaid card she would make more than that amount. The victim added the money to a prepaid card, but now the money is missing and she didn’t receive anything in return.
On January 25th officers were contacted regarding mail fraud. The victim signed up for a secret shopper program online and received a money order in the mail with instructions on how to proceed. The victim deposited the money order into his account and was instructed to send a portion of it to France. After he had sent the money by Western Union the bank notified the victim that the check was fraudulent. The victim lost more than $800 in this scam.
Typical types of Lottery/Sweepstakes Frauds include:
- Victims who are told they have won a prize in a lottery or sweepstakes
- To obtain the promised winnings, victims are told they must pay “taxes” or “fees”
- Payments are requested via Bank Wire Transfer, Western Union, Moneygram, or other money service businesses
Always keep in mind that if something sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. Also, remember that you shouldn’t have to give money to receive money.
To prevent from becoming a victim always know who you are dealing with, don’t fall for scams that promise a large amount of money, and always do your research.
We want to remind you to never give your personal information over the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud contact the police department to make a report.
This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office) Lauren.Cummings@winchesterva.gov