Every year, the Glendora Police Department receives numerous reports of scammers taking advantage of residents through various scams. Glendora victims have lost tens of thousands of dollars due to these types of scams. It is important for you and your family members, especially your elderly family members, to be aware of the different types of scams they may come across.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL THE GLENDORA POLICE DEPARTMENT BEFORE GIVING GIFT CARD INFORMATION
IMPORTANT LINKS & INFORMATION
The one thing fraud phone scams have in common is the demand for you to wire them money or pay them with a PREPAID CREDIT CARD OR GIFT CARD. This is a sure way to tell it is fraud. It’s one thing to provide information to a business you know and trust. Its entirely different to give out your information to someone calling you, even if they claim to be from an organization you do business with. If you believe the call is real, hang up and call the business yourself at a known phone number rather than one provided by the caller. If they tell you to lie or not talk to anyone it’s probably fraud.
They like to ask for gift cards or prepaid credit cards because there is no way to research or recover your money.
Government agencies don’t ask for payment using gift cards.
When you send money to people you do not know personally or give personal or financial information to unknown callers, you increase your chances of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud.
MONEYGRAM/WESTERN UNION SCAM - ALSO REFERRED TO AS THE "GRANDPA/GRANDMA" SCAM
You receive a telephone call at home and a person claiming to be a relative (usually a grandson) tells you they are in trouble, often stating they are in Mexico or Canada. The caller may be very persuasive, and might use the actual name of your grandson or relative to try and convince you they are legitimate, even though you do not recognize their voice. The caller may already have your name or refer to you as “Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle, etc.” The caller will tell you they have been arrested, detained by the police, involved in an accident, or other similar story.
The caller, pretending to be the relative, will either request money be sent to them or ask you to speak to someone claiming to be a lawyer, police officer, or other official. The other person who comes onto the telephone will explain that the money is needed to avoid court fines or pay bail, pay for hospital expenses and other fictitious reasons. They will request the money to be sent via a wire transfer, usually via Western Union or MoneyGram. They may tell you not to tell anyone else, and to send the money immediately. Only after the money has been sent and you call the actual relative do you realize your family member is not out of the country or in trouble and you were victimized.
A subject approaches you and tells you they have won money in the lottery, received a settlement from 9/11, received an inheritance, or other similar story. The person will often speak with a foreign accent and will flash cash or other valuables to make the story believable while explaining they are not a U.S. citizen. They will ask for help to disburse the money to a “good cause” since they cannot take it to their home country as it will be confiscated. The suspect will ask the victim to show them that they have money to prove they are honest people. They may ask you to go to the bank and withdraw money to show good faith. During the contact the victim’s money is switched with cut paper which is not discovered until the suspect has left the area.
LISTING ITEMS FOR SALE ON THE INTERNET
A common scam is for the suspect to purchase an item you have listed for sale on an internet site and send a money order to you for much more money than the asking price of the item in question that you have listed. The suspect will explain that the extra money is to be used for shipping or claim it was an accounting mistake. The suspect asks the victim to cash the money order and forward the excess money back to them or to a third party for the “shipping.” After a few days the victim learns from the bank that the money order is fraudulent and all of the money sent was actually your own money you voluntarily withdrew from your bank and sent to the suspect.
JURY DUTY SCAM
Someone calls saying they are calling from the courthouse. They say you failed to show up for jury duty and a warrant was issued for your arrest. You are offered a choice to pay for the warrant or have an officer sent to your house to arrest you. The fraudsters will usually demand the money be paid by money transfer or pre-paid gift cards.
SECRET SHOPPER SCAM
Same as the internet scam except you have answered an advertisement for what appears to be a legitimate business. They will ask for a resume, employment application, and references. You receive your first shopping assignment along with a money order. You will be asked to cash the money order and shop at a local store. You then are asked to send the remaining money, minus your commission, via a wire transfer. The money order that was sent is fraudulent and the victim is not notified by the bank for several days after the transactions have been conducted.
DISTRACTION BURGLARY SCAM
Be wary of people coming to the front door of your residence that you are not expecting via an appointment. If someone unexpected comes to the door and needs to conduct business in your home or backyard do not allow them into the home without verifying who they are. If they are with a utility service they should be displaying a company ID and have a work order. You can contact the company at the listed phone number to verify they have workers in the area. Do not call the number the person at the door provides. Do not accompany them into your yard if they state they will be going into the yard. There have been several instances where criminals distract the homeowner outside or within the home while a second person enters the home while you are distracted allowing the second “worker” to steal items from within your house.. If you see suspicious subjects in your neighborhood or at your door contact the police department immediately.
This scam uses your fear of the Internal Revenue Service. They say your Social Security number was found at a crime scene, your number was somehow compromised, or you owe unpaid taxes. They demand payment immediately or you will be arrested. They want money wired or put on prepaid gift cards. The IRS does not make contact with you by phone.
This scam is also based of fear. The caller will try to convince you that if you do not pay the bill they will turn off your utility. They will ask you to send payment using prepaid gift cards. Hang up and call the utility company. You will probably find out it is a scam.