SPD warns of several fraud scams in Northwest

Sgt. Lydia Taylor, 509.481.8656

Monday, December 9, 2013 at 10 a.m.

Spokane Police Department would like the public to be aware of three scams that have been circulating the Northwest. Victims of these scams are encouraged to report the incident to Crime Check, 509.456.2233.

  • The first and most wide-spread scam, related to recent grocery store credit card fraud cases, involves a smishing attempt (SMS or Text Phishing) from the phone number 208.758.0211. Victims receive a text stating that their card is inactive and recipients of the text must call the number in the text and give out personal information to reactivate their card.
  • In the second reported scam, a resident received a call from a male who stated he was from Goldman Investments in New York and that he was filing criminal charges against the victim for internet fraud. The suspect told the victim to send a $500 payment by 2:00 p.m. or he would be arrested.
  • In the third reported scam, a victim found an advertisement for a vehicle for sale on Craigslist. The female answering the ad told the buyer to send a money order of $1,350 to Louisiana. After sending the money order, the victim received another text asking for another $1,000 to cover the insurance for the vehicle.
    The Spokane Police Department would like citizens of Spokane to be aware of these scams and take these safety precautions when dealing with suspicious scam-like situations.
  • Many scam perpetrators make calls or send an email claiming to be with a financial institution. For example, the scammer may say there’s a problem with your bank or credit card account and ask you to verify the account numbers. If you get one of these calls, ask for a name and phone number of the institution and you can call back to be sure you are dealing with a legitimate financial institution. If you cannot verify that the request is legitimate, do not provide the information.
  • Know who you are dealing with. If you have not heard of a person or company that you intend to do business with, learn more about them. Depending on the amount of money you plan to spend, you may want to visit the business location, check with the Better Business Bureau, or consult with your bank, an attorney, or the police before proceeding.
  • Be wary of businesses that operate out of post office boxes or mail drops and do not have a street address. Also be suspicious when dealing with persons who do not have a direct telephone line and who are never in when you call, but always return your call later.
  • If you are the victim of fraud, report the incident to Crime Check, 509.456.2233.

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