Scam Prevention Resources

The Town of Leland Police Department is dedicated to protecting residents. One of the most threatening issues our community can face is falling victim to phishing, a fraudulent practice in which scammers lure sensitive information from individuals, such as passwords and credit card numbers. The Federal Trade Commission has provided helpful resources to educate and protect inidividuals from this crime.

"The Federal Trade Commission's Pass It On campaign focuses on the scams that many older adults report seeing, including imposter scams, work-at-home-scams, charity scams, and more. These resources help older adults and the poeople who care about them start conversations that will help educate others to do the same. Learn more at ftc.gov/PassItOn, or in Spanish at ftc.gov/pasalo."

--Jennifer Leach, FTC Associate Director of the Division of Consumer & Business Education

Common Scam Scenarios

  • Grandkid Scam 

    You get a call: “Grandma, I need money for bail.” Or money for a medical bill. Or some other kind of trouble. The caller says it’s urgent — and tells you to keep it a secret.

    But is the caller who you think it is? Scammers are good at pretending to be someone they’re not. They can be convincing, sometimes using information from social networking sites or hacking into your loved one’s email account to make it seem more real. And they’ll pressure you to send money before you have time to think.

    Here’s what you can do:

    1. Stop. Check it out. Look up your grandkid’s phone number yourself or call another family member.
    2. Pass this information on to a friend. You may not have gotten one of these calls, but chances are you know someone who will get one — if they haven’t already.    

 

  • IRS Imposter Scam

    You get a call from someone who says she’s from the IRS. She says that you owe back taxes. She threatens to sue you, arrest or deport you, or revoke your license if you don’t pay right away. She tells you to put money on a prepaid debit card and give her the card numbers.

    The caller may know some of your Social Security number. And your caller ID might show a Washington, DC area code. But is it really the IRS calling?

    No. The real IRS won’t ask you to pay with prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. They also won’t ask for a credit card over the phone. And when the IRS first contacts you about unpaid taxes, they do it by mail, not by phone. And caller IDs can be faked.

    Here’s what you can do:

    1. Stop. Don’t wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card. Once you send it, the money is gone. If you have tax questions, go to IRS.gov or call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
    2. Pass this information on to a friend. You may not have gotten one of these calls, but the chances are you know someone who has.

 

  • Healthcare Scam

    You see an ad on TV telling you about a new law that requires you to get a new health care card. Maybe you get a call offering you big discounts on health insurance. Or maybe someone says they’re from the government and she needs your Medicare number to issue you a new card.

    Scammers follow the headlines. When it’s Medicare open season or when health care is in the news, they go to work with a new script. Their goal? To get your Social Security number, financial information, or insurance number.

    So take a minute to think before you talk: Do you really have to get a new health care card? Is that discounted insurance a good deal? Is that ‘government official’ really from the government? The answer to all three is almost always: No.

    Here’s what you can do:

    1. Stop. Check it out. Before you share your information, call Medicare (1-800-MEDICARE), do some research, and check with someone you trust. What’s the real story?
    2. Pass this information on to a friend. You probably saw through the requests. But chances are you know someone who could use a friendly reminder.

 

  • Charity Fraud

    Someone contacts you asking for a donation to their charity. It sounds like a group you’ve heard of, it seems real, and you want to help.

    How can you tell what charity is legitimate and what’s a scam? Scammers want your money quickly. Charity scammers often pressure you to donate right away. They might ask for cash and might even offer to send a courier or ask you to wire money. Scammers often refuse to send you information about the charity, give you details, or tell you how the money will be used. They might even thank you for a pledge you don’t remember making.

    Here’s what you can do:

    1. Take your time. Tell callers to send you information by mail. For requests you get in the mail, do your research. Is it a real group? What percentage of your donation goes to the charity? Is your donation tax-deductible? How do they want you to pay? Rule out anyone who asks you to send cash or wire money. Chances are, that’s a scam.
    2. Pass this information on to a friend. It’s likely that nearly everyone you know gets charity solicitations. This information could help someone else spot a possible scam.

 

More Scam Examples