The Edgewood Police Department would like to take the opportunity to warn our residents and the rest of our Facebook family that the scammers are yet again up to their old tricks.
Please be cautious of anyone representing themselves as a government official (at any level of government), or a family member you have not heard of in some time. As it is a new year, the tax season is upon us and this time of year is particularly enticing for the phone and tax scammers. DO NOT EVER give any type of personal information over the phone!!! This includes not only personal identification numbers, but also bank account, and credit card information as well.
True government officials will NEVER instruct you to purchase any type of gift card, money order, western union check, or any other form of payment over the phone to get a situation ‘taken care of’. We are not authorized to make any type of deals, bargains, or any other type of arrangement to get anyone out of the situation they are in. We do not accept payment from any suspect in custody to allow them to be released - there are very strict rules governing this. We also do not call you from out of state to investigate a crime. If that type of situation occurred, we would contact the local law enforcement agency and have them make contact. Please feel free to give the caller our number (642-3200) and we will be more than happy to field the call.
If you feel you have been contacted by someone who may be misrepresenting themselves, simply hang up. This is the best way to deal with these people; they want you on the phone to garner information they will share with their counterparts to try another scam next week, month, or year.
Please speak with your family members and loved ones regarding scams. It is all too often we get reports of people sending thousands of dollars to make sure their grandson or some other loved one gets out of trouble, and only after sending the money does the victim call us and let us know of the situation. Usually it is already too late once the money has been sent: These scammers are good at what they do, and are located out of the country on the majority of the cases we come across.
Many stores are putting protocols in place to combat these crimes, but as soon as we find a way to fight their methods they change a step or two and get new victims. Again, please take the time to speak with your loved ones, and take the necessary steps to prevent more victims. Having a security measure on any bank account that would require two signatures (account holder and a trusted family member) for any cash withdrawal of more than $200.00 (or whatever amount you desire) is a fairly safe measure. Checking your elderly loved ones’ bank accounts for large withdrawals or transfers daily is another way to safeguard their assets. We recently had a victim who lost $8000.00 in just two days!
The only way to combat these individuals is to talk to everyone we know about these scams. If you feel your loved one has fallen victim to this type of crime, please contact your local law enforcement agency so they can assist you.