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By Barbara EJ Bennett | Chief Scambuster, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office
GRANDPARENT SCAM – NEW TWIST! According to the FTC, scammers are using voice cloning programs to fool you into thinking it is your family member. If you get a call from your family member saying they are in trouble and need money, especially if they ask you to wire transfer, use cryptocurrency or get money/gift cards, HANG UP and call your family member directly.
DEPUTY OR POLICE OFFICER CALLING –You missed jury duty; you have a warrant. You must pay or get arrested. Sounds authoritative and official. This is NOT legitimate – law enforcement never asks for money over the phone – and they don’t make appointments to arrest you!
TAX SEASON! – Beware of scammers filing a tax return in your name.
Also, beware of messages telling you about a tax rebate or refund – (never click a link or call the number in this text. If you find out someone has stolen your identity and filed in your name, check out the IRS website for
details on how and where to report this. irs.gov
FACEBOOK –Please be cautious when interacting with posts with strange fonts –Example – Rescυeɗ Hυskу Sυrνiνes Extɾeme Heαt in Cαr and Finɗs Lσѵe in a Neɯ Hσme. ЅEƝD thеᴍ sσɱe lσvҽ And be cautious about “celebrities” sponsoring products – Oprah doesn’t sell weight loss gummies that can take off 100 lbs. in 3 weeks.
XFINITY MOBILE – “We had an issue processing your account.” Then the email asks you to update your payment method on your account and gives you a link to click. Looks legit – but it is a SCAM. This same scam can come from any business, so be alert.
PAYING WITH CRYPTO CURRENCY – Legitimate businesses do not ask you to pay with cryptocurrency (or money card, wire transfer), and if you are looking to invest in crypto – be very, very cautious. This is a scammer’s dream area, and getting your money back if scammed is almost nil. Do your research very carefully when moving into crypto, and if you are asked to pay in crypto – that is a huge red flag that it is a scam.
INVESTING IN CRYPTOCURRENCY – If you meet a “friend” online that you start trading with and invest money into a crypto.com account, you could be heading to a big loss. The trading friend has you start a crypto.com account, then tells you to put it into a trading account called Sunbitz.com (or CoinlistOBT.com) for a great return on your investment. When you see your investment increase sevenfold, you try to transfer the money back to your crypto account. Before they can release the funds, you must pay 110% of your initial investment as “taxes,” and then they will release your funds. If you don’t pay this tax, they will freeze your account. Once you pay the tax, your account disappears, and you have lost your original investment, plus the tax. Typically, these trades are large dollar amounts, so your losses will be substantial, even if you realize it’s a scam and don’t pay the “tax.”
SWEEPSTAKES WINNER! – These are scams to get money from you to get your prize.
FACEBOOK/MARKETPLACE ADS – If you purchase something from Marketplace, please don’t use Venmo or Zelle to pay someone you don’t know. Also, be cautious about putting a deposit on an item before getting the item. There are a lot of scammers using this venue to get your money and then deleting the post before you can pick up the item.
Visit larimer.org for more information about scams, or call Barbara at 970-682-0597.