By Sheriff Scott Henriod WPCSO
It seems no matter how hard you try to inform the public about the latest scam it seems that we’re always one step behind. The realization is we’re reactive, waiting for the next one to happen. The Sheriff’s Office or law enforcement in general have the responsibility to assist the victims in filing the proper police reports and possibly locating the person who was responsible for committing the crime.
If the scam occurred over the internet it makes it very hard if not impossible to locate the suspect. I’ll give you an example of one of the latest scams that is taking place. The scam starts off by you receiving an email or maybe you went on line looking for a job. The job looks promising because all you have to do is buy items off the internet or at one of your local stores and you’ll get paid for doing so. The scammer, who falsely claims he is from a bona fide business sends you a check in the mail. The check looks legitimate. You deposit it in your banking account and then make the required purchases as directed from your now employer (scammer.) The items they most likely will have you purchase are gift cards. They will have you send the gift card numbers to them. Only the number. About a week or so later you will get a notice from your bank stating that the check you deposited was fraudulent and you are responsible for the amount owed. The scammer has taken the gift card numbers and has used them to purchase items they wanted and left you holding the bag. The email address you were using for the contact of your so called employer is no longer working and for law enforcement to try and track that person down is virtually impossible.
Remember to always do your research on anything that looks too good to be true. The Sheriff’s Office is always here to provide information needed before you jump into something that could cost you a lot of money.