Recently, the Prescott Police Department has seen an increase in Fraud Schemes and similar crimes. Criminals that perpetrate these crimes often prey upon a victim’s honesty and good nature. Often times the criminal will demand immediate action and threaten consequences for nonpayment. They will try and make the victim nervous and push them into quick payment.
A few examples of these types of criminal behaviors are listed.
A victim reported that he had been contacted by a caller who claimed to be from a utility company. The caller told the victim that he needed to pay a large sum of money, in order to keep the power on. The suspect said that the payment needed to be made within a very short time frame, via either Greendot or Moneypak cards.
A suspect advised a victim that she had multiple warrants for her arrest and needed to pay money in lieu of being arrested. The victim purchased Moneypak cards and gave the numbers to the suspect.
Another victim received a phone call from an unknown male that claimed to be her grandson who was in jail and needed bail money. The victim withdrew a large amount of cash from her bank account but was contacted by police before handing over the money to a delivery service.
A subject attempted to defraud a victim of almost $4,000 dollars after calling to allegedly complete repairs on her computer.
Another suspect posing as the CIO of the Social Security Administration defrauded a victim by claiming that her account was in arrears and demanded immediate payment.
A credit card skimmer was recently located at several businesses in the Prescott area, primarily at gas pumps.
Frequently, these types of cases are perpetrated by groups who are operating outside of the United States, which makes them very difficult to identify or prosecute.
The Prescott Police Department would like to remind our community to remain vigilant about these and similar scams in which the caller claims to be from some type of reputable business or agency. If you get a call such as this, hang-up and contact the specific company directly or contact the police department for further investigation. Never provide personal information such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, utility account numbers, pre-paid cards or other personal information to those who call under these types of circumstances.
The Prescott Police Department will be offering a Fraud and Scams Prevention presentation at Las Fuentes Care Center on April 24th at 2:00 PM. Crime prevention information may also be located on the Prescott PD web site. Additional fraud prevention information may also be located on the Attorney Generals web site.