Letter: Perry County Sheriff Warns About Holiday Season Phone Scams
Holiday Season is upon us and so are the Phone Scams. I would like to warn our people that there are numerous phone scams going on. The Perry County Sheriff’s Office fields numerous calls each week regarding entities claiming that you owe them money. It may be for back taxes, or an old debt to a pay day loan, or even a family member that needs bond money from out of state.
If you can’t remember it, the chances are you don’t owe it. I advise to never settle a debt over the phone with someone that is calling you. Always follow-up with calling the source of the debt. If the caller cannot give you specifics about the debt or mail you information on the debt, then chances are you are being scammed.
If they won’t take a credit card, but want a bank account number, chances are you are being scammed.
If it is too good to be true, chances are it’s a scam.
If they send you a check for more money than the agreed price and they want you to send money back to them, chances are it’s a scam.
Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories and other public records, so they might know your name, children’s names, and other personal information when they call you.
Scammers are using fake caller ID information to trick you into thinking they’re someone who can be trusted.
The practice is called caller ID spoofing, and scammers can fake anyone’s phone number.
The Perry County Sheriff’s Office phone number was spoofed recently. Our office will never call you to collect a debt, the IRS will never call you to collect a debt, and the Illinois Sheriff’s Association does not fund raise by the phone.
Here Are Some Tips:
• If you get a strange call from a government phone number, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information.
• Don’t give out — or confirm — your personal or financial information to someone who calls.
• Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit.
• Feeling pressured to act immediately? Hang up. That’s a sure sign of a scam.
Beware and make good choices. If in doubt, don’t! If you get a call and think it is a scam, feel free to call me at the Sheriff’s Office, 618-357-5212.
Have a Blessed Holiday Season,
Sheriff Steve Bareis