The Dillon Police Department would once again like to make residents aware of continued scams which have been a problem nationwide; we are no exception.
Criminals are using new techniques including information from local businesses and service providers as a way to fraud residents into giving them money, and or their credit card number. The Police Department will do what we can to try and stop these actions but there is little that can be done once the fraud has taken place. Criminals and their operations are located overseas. These cases get transferred to federal agencies, but no one can effectively enforce our laws in other countries. The scammers know our limitations and continue to successfully operate. The best way to keep yourself from falling victim to these scams is to know how to react if you even slightly suspect you are being targeted by a criminal.
Requests for credit card numbers, or pre-paid gift card numbers to pay bills or delinquent “fines” is more than likely a scam. Callers are using the names of area businesses, such as medical facilities. Caller ID can even show facilities names and a local phone numbers. If you receive one of these calls, please hang up and call the actual facilities number. DO NOT use the number on the caller ID, a number left on voicemail, email, or text. Remember, most businesses will not call for a credit card number, cash, money orders, or personal information. Legitimate businesses will certainly understand if you call them attempting to avoid criminal access to your private information and finances.
Many other scams are taking place including physical threats, threats of arrest, or fraudulent sweepstake winners. You may be told the police or IRS have a warrant. They may state they will be applying for a warrant due to unpaid taxes or legal fines. This is a scare tactic! Hang up! Law Enforcement does not function in this manner. Criminals will advise you that you have won a sweepstakes and advise you to send a processing fee. Scammers have been known to send you a certain amount of money asking you to take a small portion and send the rest to another address. This is a way for the scammers to avoid detection using you as a part of their criminal enterprise therefore making you a participant of the crime.
No legitimate business or government agency will ever initiate a call and ask you to pay for any debt, bond, or credit using gift cards. Scammers often ask victims to purchase types of gift cards and give them the numbers on the card. Never purchase any type of cash card or gift card when requested by a caller or internet based individual seeking payment for a delinquent bill or legal fine.
Protect yourself! Never give personal information such as your social security number, birth date, or any financial information to someone who has called you. This is also very important with solicitors who have contacted you over the internet. If you follow these steps it will decrease your vulnerability to being a victim of a crime. Please, pass this along to your family and friends so we can keep Beaverhead County and Dillon residents from becoming victims of these predators.
We hope you have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.
Chief of Police