Midland Sheriff Myron Greene warns senior citizens of local scams | #datingscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

Midland County Sheriff Myron Greene

Midland Daily News

Each year, millions of individuals have their identity stolen or become victims through phone, email, or Internet scams. These illegal actions add up to billions of lost dollars every year!

Sadly, many victims are our seniors because many grew up in a time without the technology available today, when you could trust someone with a handshake or just their word. Unfortunately, times have changed. We must be on-guard at all times.

Scams often occur through direct phone conversations, whereas identity theft can occur when someone obtains personal information from public sources, obtained through emails, phone calls, or from various discarded personal documents. Hopefully, providing this information will prevent you from becoming a victim of identity theft, fraud, or a scam.

What scams are happening now?

  • The most common phone scams we see in Midland County are when someone claims to be a deputy or an officer from a law enforcement agency and says that you have a warrant for your arrest or you owe a fine for missing court. Another popular one is where someone claims to be from the IRS and say that you owe money for taxes. Scammers will pressure you to pay over the phone with a credit card or by having you go the store, buy gift cards, and provide the codes from the cards. This is a scam! Do not give credit card information or buy gift cards for anyone requesting payment over the phone – just hang up! No law enforcement agency will ever contact you over the phone and request money.
  • Scammers will claim to be a relative and need money to bond out of jail, or say they’ve been in an accident and need money for the tow truck or a ride home. It’s a scam!
  • Online/email scams sometimes involve someone claiming that your computer is infected with a virus and requests you to contact them so they can remotely sign in to “repair” it. Do not let anyone remotely sign into your computer!
  • Occasionally there have been scams where a fake check is sent to someone with instructions to cash it, keep some of the money and then return the rest to the sender. We also see individuals on social media or dating sites start online relationships, and their “new friend” asks for small amounts of money, which then turns into requests for larger amounts of money. Do not give money to someone you just met online.
  • Beware of entrepreneurs who are looking for investors to invest money up front. Do not fall for these or pay with cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, etc.). Once you do, it’s very hard or impossible to get it back.

How to protect yourself from scams and identity theft:

  • Always know or verify who you are communicating with online, through email, and in phone calls!
  • Beware of unsolicited emails and phone calls asking for money, personal information (birthdates, social security numbers) or account information (account numbers, passwords, etc). Contact requestor directly.
  • Use strong passwords to protect your computers and cellular devices, and keep them confidential! Also, do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Keep anti-virus software programs updated. Updates provide patches for software vulnerabilities.
  • Check your monthly bank and bill statements for unauthorized charges.
  • Invest in a good cross-cut shredder to shred old paperwork, bills, and “junk mail.”
  • Each year, obtain a copy of your credit report, review it, and challenge any credit report errors.

What to do if you are a victim of a scam or identity theft?

  • First, contact applicable financial institutions or credit card companies and obtain new account(s)/card(s).
  • Change your password(s).
  • Contact local law enforcement to make a report.
  • Contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov and The Federal Trade Commission at consumer.ftc.gov or identitytheft.gov for more information.
    Myron Greene is the Midland County Sheriff.

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