Superintendent Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr.
Delaware – The Delaware State Police is providing Scam Alert Advisories. This is a general alert that is applicable to the entire State of Delaware.
Scammers ask for gift card payments
Those who are victims of persistent scams involve a suspect posing as the IRS, FBI, law enforcement or some other agency. These scammers are usually asking for payments from victims to be made with Google play or other gift cards. The victims are instructed to go to a store and purchase gift cards. The victim is then told to scratch the coating off of the back of the purchased cards and read it over the phone. The victims then send it to the caller.
Purchasing a gift card for payment is NEVER legitimate and if anyone is asked to do that, they should report this to law enforcement. These suspects are very convincing and may have information on unsuspecting victims which makes them seem legitimate, but they are not.
A relative has been arrested and jailed
Another scam is where a grandson (or other relatives) is in jail. The suspect claims to be a lawyer or someone from a police department in another state and the victim’s relative had been in a collision where someone was injured and they need bail money. The caller requests money to be sent in cash via UPS/FedEx to another state.
Information regarding scams targeting the elderly. Elderly victims are tricked into believing that their computers had been hacked. The victim then buys gift cards as payment for services to repair their computer problem(s).
Publisher’s Clearing House Scam
Interestingly enough, a victim received a call from “Publisher’s Clearing House” telling her that she had won the sweepstakes, but had to pay a percentage of her total winnings in order for her prize to be released. This victim having been duped already wised up and hung up on them.
The Infamous Business Email Compromise (BEC)
This sophisticated scam targets businesses and individuals acting on wire transfer payments. The Delaware State Police New Castle County Financial Crimes is more likely to see this scammer’s scheme because of the contingent of businesses in our area of responsibility. The scam is frequently carried out when a subject compromises legitimate business e-mail accounts to conduct unlawful transfers of funds.
The scam may not always be associated with a request for the transfer of funds. A variation of the scam involves compromising legitimate business e-mail accounts and requesting Personal Information or Tax Information forms for employees.
To summarize this scheme:
A business (Usually real estate, non-profit, or accounting firms) receives an email from a regular customer under a spoofed email domain. For example, Firstname.Lastname@delaware.gov has been changed to Firstname.Lastname@delaware.edu. The suspect has already gained access to the business’ email accounts and is expecting a wire transfer or payment that is supposed to go to the original recipient. The suspect poses as the legitimate customer and requests a wire transfer to a bank account. If the business doesn’t catch the minor change money may be sent to the suspect.
When the accounts are later remedied the victim realizes the mistaken money transfer. The attached Public Service Announcement checklist is for agencies to follow and how much this actually costs businesses.
To find out more click on the following link: PSA FBI
Added Forged Insurance Card
During Police Prosecution at the Justice of the Peace Court, a woman came in on a simple no proof insurance and speeding ticket. For the no proof insurance charge, she provided the trooper an intentionally altered insurance card. It was very obvious that is was fabricated and photocopied with the dates printed backward (expiration date was six months before the active date). The trooper subsequently called the insurance company and verified that the policy was canceled back in June of 2018 for lack of payment. She claimed she got it from her niece who owns the car and had no knowledge of the alteration. However, evidence proved she received a copy of the card. The information which included the image stated: “the card has been fixed.” She and her niece were both arrested for Forgery 3rd Degree and Conspiracy.
Do not attempt to falsify any documents. See Criminal Code for Forgery. Click on the following link to find out more: Subsection 861 Felony Forgery
Felony Forgery – Excerpt from the Delaware Criminal Code
A person is guilty of forgery when, intending to defraud, deceive or injure another person, or knowing that the person is facilitating a fraud or injury to be perpetrated by anyone, the person:
Alters any written instrument of another person without the other person’s authority; or
Possesses a written instrument, knowing that it was made, completed or altered under circumstances constituting forgery.
Part of an issue of instruments issued by a government or a governmental instrumentality; or
A public record or an instrument filed or required to be filed in or with a public office or public servant; or
A written instrument officially issued or created by a public office, public servant or governmental instrumentality.
Red Flags, Best Practices, and Safety Tips
Scammers who operate by phone don’t want to give you time to think about their pitch; they just want you to say “yes.” But some are so sneaky that, even if you ask for more information, they seem happy to comply. They may direct you to a website or otherwise send information featuring “satisfied customers.” These customers, known as shills, are likely as fake as their praise for the company. (Shill is a person who poses as a customer in order to decoy others into participating).
Here are a few red flags to help you spot telemarketing scams. If you hear a line that sounds like this, say “no, thank you,” hang up, and file a complaint with the FTC:
How Are People Fooled?
Scammers use exaggerated — or even fake — prizes, products or services as bait. Some may call you, but others will use mail, texts, or ads to get you to call them for more details. Here are a few examples of “offers” you might get:
Why they’re calling you…Why not?
Everyone’s a potential target. Fraud isn’t limited to race, ethnic background, gender, age, education, or income. That said, some scams seem to concentrate in certain groups. For example, older people may be targeted because the caller assumes they may live alone, have a nest egg, or maybe more polite toward strangers.
Be Smart…How to Handle an Unexpected Sales Call. When you get a call from a telemarketer, ask yourself:
If they call back, they’re breaking the law.
Some Additional Suggestions
Don’t tell them to callers you don’t know — even if they ask you to “confirm” this information. That’s a trick.
What to do about pre-recorded calls
If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it’s a robocall. Recorded messages that are trying to sell you something are generally illegal unless you have given the company written permission to call you.
If you get a robocall:
If you get phone service through the internet or cable, you might want to look into services that screen and block robocalls. Try doing an online search for “block robocalls.”
Tagged with: do not call, phone, scam, and telemarketing
Every year, thousands of people lose money to telephone scams — from a few dollars to their life savings. Scammers will say anything to cheat people out of money. Some seem very friendly — calling you by your first name, making small talk, and asking about your family. They may claim to work for a company you trust, or they may send mail.
If you get a call from someone you don’t know who is trying to sell you something you hadn’t planned to buy, say “No thanks.” And, if they pressure you about giving up personal information — like your credit card or Social Security number — it’s likely a scam. Hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
Each year seniors lose millions of dollars to phone scams keep the following in mind so you don’t become a victim
This past year the Delaware State Police have been made aware of unsolicited phone calls being received by members of the community, from individuals claiming to be with the IRS. The scam involves a person calling claiming the victim owes money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly. If the victim refuses, they are threatened with arrest, deportation, or suspension of their driver’s license, amongst other things. In the most recent phone calls, the individual requests the victim send money in the form of an iTunes card.
Note that the IRS will never:
Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
**This information was provided through the IRS website located at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts
Many of these scams are difficult to investigate. They will target persons of all age groups. The Delaware State Police is asking citizens to remember the tips previously mentioned in order to not become a victim of one of these scam artists.
If you suspect you have been a victim of this scam, please contact your local law enforcement agency. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware crime stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com
You can follow the Delaware State Police by clicking on:
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Presented by the Director of Public Information, Sergeant Richard Bratz
Released: 071019 1713
Related Topics: Scam Advisories