Tough economic times could make it easier to fall prey to a scam artist!
Sheriff Kelly Wilhelmi and the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office are reminding citizens to be aware of the constant attempts of scam artists to steal your money. Every day thousands of fraudulent offers are received throughout the United States including Whiteside County. The offers can be in the form of a letter, E-mail, or phone call and the end result could be the victim losing thousands of dollars with little hope of ever seeing that money again.
One example is you may receive an official looking letter titled WINNING NOTIFICATION . The letter will go on to explain that you are the winner of a sweepstakes or lottery and have won a large amount of money, but in order to claim your prize you must first pay the applicable government taxes. Enclosed with the letter will be a check or money order to cover the amount they say you owe in taxes. The amount of the check will usually be one or two thousand dollars more than the amount you allegedly owe and you will be instructed not to use the check until you contact a claims agent at a phone number provided in the letter. If you contact the agent you will be instructed to moneygram or western union the taxes owed to a location they provide and then deposit the check (which of course is a fake) and your money will already be gone.
Many variations of this and other types of scams are attempted every day and thousands of dollars are lost. DO NOT BECOME A VICTIM !
A good source of information and examples of scams can be found on the Internet at scambusters.org
The Sheriff’s office reminds everyone, never provide any personal information such as your social security number, bank account number, or credit card number to anyone who contacts you by phone and remember the old saying - IF IT SOUNDS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS.