Killeen Police Report Increase In Attempted Scams

Killeen Police would like to inform citizens of con artists that have increased their efforts to obtain money from law abiding citizens. There has been an increase of reports to the police department about these types of scams.

An increase this department has seen is a scam where people are receiving telephone calls telling them a family member has been in a serious accident and have been hurt and they need to send money. Another is that a family member is being held and to send money for them to be released. These callers are telling people to send money to another country.

Some things to watch for are letters, faxes, emails and telephone calls from other countries in which you have been named an heir in a will, or your excellent status in the community enables them to contact you for investment purposes. Generally the letter will state that the person writing it is a high-ranking official in the government and there is a surplus in money and they need to put it in another bank outside of their country and for your cooperation they will give you several million dollars. Another form of scam is that someone claiming to represent a long lost relative of yours has died and left you a large sum of money.

Other scams are Lottery scams, Check in the Mail scams and Secret Shopper scams. Citizens are receiving fraudulent checks and money orders in the mail and are asked to deposit these into their bank accounts and send a portion back through Western Union. When these checks are found to be fake the money is then taken from the citizen’s bank account and depleting the account in many instances. Others are asking citizens to send money to fill out loan paperwork. People are receiving phone calls telling them they won a prize for a contest they did not enter. They are then asked to send a service fee to receive the prize. If you did not enter a contest then you didn’t win a contest!

To help prevent you from being a victim you should:

  1. Call the family member immediately who is supposed to be injured or held hostage.
  2. Never give out your personal information to include banking information over the phone.
  3. Do not pay a fee in advance for any money you might have won or inherited.
  4. Shred your personal banking statements and bills instead of just throwing them away.
  5. Contact the police immediately if you are unsure and think this might be a scam.

Remember if it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is!

Carroll Smith
Public Affairs
Killeen Police Department

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