With the holiday season upon us and the giving spirit roused, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone not to let their generosity contribute to them falling victim to one of many prevalent scams. As a general rule, it is a best practice to never provide personal or financial information to anyone who calls you over the phone or contacts you via e-mail or text message who may purport themselves to be a representative from Law Enforcement, the Federal Government, a Bank/Financial Institution, or other business.
- Scammers will often contact you pretending to be from a known organization such as the Sheriff’s Office, IRS, FBI, Microsoft, Pay Pal, Amazon, or countless other businesses/government entities. The scammer may indicate that you have a problem with your account or there is a virus on your computer, and they need to assist you in rectifying the issue.
Scammers may ask:
- you to click on a provided link
- for personal and banking information
- for remote access to your computer to assist in correcting the fictitious problem
- The scammers may tell you that your daughter, son, husband, wife, grandchild, close friend or someone you know is in trouble with law enforcement and needs money for bail.
- Scammers may indicate that you have won a sweepstakes and that they will be sending you a check to cash and then ask that a portion of the proceeds be sent back to them.
- Scammers may ask for payment in the form of gift cards, electronic payments or ask that you send cash in the mail to a specified address. Scammers may also indicate that they will send a currier to your residence to retrieve your payment.
These perpetrators of scams will attempt to pressure you to act quickly by threatening that the problem will only get worse if you don’t act now or that you will be arrested if the issue is not immediately addressed.
Please be suspicious of anyone asking for personal or financial information. If you suspect something may not be legitimate, tell someone you trust what the situation is before you act and potentially suffer a financial loss that may not be recoverable or disclose personally-identifying information.
If you fall victim to a scam, please report it to your local law enforcement agency.
Have a safe and secure Holiday Season!