The City of Corcoran would like to educate the community on various types of “scams” that have been attempted on the community. In recent weeks, the Corcoran Police Department has received complaints from local residents on each of these criminal enterprises. Some have been received in the mail and others have originated as phone calls to the victims. They include:
— Victims receive what appears to be a grant award check in the mail with a request that they wire part of the payment back to cover special fees. The victim wires the money to the requestor and the original “Award check” bounces. These scammers may also tell victims to buy a “Green Dot MoneyPak” which may be found at many retail outlets. MoneyPaks are used to load existing Green Dot debit cards. The victim sends details of the card to the scammer which are used to load the scammer’s own Green Dot card. This money is quickly drained at an ATM.
— Scammers call victims and allege that they are calling on behalf of a well-known technology company. Victims are told their computers are either already infected or about to become infected with malware that can cause significant damage, such as operating system corruption or identity theft. The “technicians” then urge users to allow them to have remote access to troubleshoot and fix the related issues. Scammers use these opportunities to infect systems with malware or perform other damage; or send users to third-party websites that cause damage. All of these actions are focused on the singular goal of giving scammers access to computers so they can cause errors and then charge for unnecessary repair services.
— Victims will receive an unexpected call from someone who claims to be a friend or relative. A typical scenario targets grandparents with the caller claiming to be their grandson or granddaughter. The caller says there is an emergency and asks the victim to send money immediately. For example, they might say, “I’m in Canada and I’m trying to get home but my car broke down and I need money right away to get it fixed.” Or they may claim to have been mugged, been in a car accident, or need money for bail or to pay customs fees to get back into the United States from another country. They may also pose as an attorney or law enforcement official contacting a potential victim on behalf of a friend or relative and ask the victim to send the money through a wire. Typically, the caller says they are embarrassed about what has happened to them, and asks the grandparent not to tell anyone else in the family.
— Scammers call the victim and inform them of money they have yet to pay to the IRS. In actuality, the scammer is in no way affiliated with the IRS and uses the fear of arrest to get the victim to provide a credit card to pay the fee.
Anyone who has any reason to believe they or someone they know has been a victim is asked to contact the Corcoran Police Department at 559-992-5151.