Police warn of new scam
July 5, 2017, Canton, MI – The Canton Police Department has taken several reports in recent weeks regarding individuals who have attempted to purchase dogs from out-of-state websites, only to find out they had fallen victim to a scam.
The police department urges individuals to be cautious when doing business with unknown persons who requests to be paid by money gram or through a prepaid card such as iTunes or green dot. Honest companies won’t require you to use these payment methods which are near impossible to recover.
“If you cannot verify the authenticity of a website, you should be cautious making a purchase, especially if you are requested to pay using an untraceable method such as a money gram,” says Detective Sgt. Daniel Traylor.
The police department suggests online consumers follow the tips listed below to best avoid falling victim to a scam:
- Spot imposters – Scammers often pose as someone you’d trust, such as a charity or government; don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request
- Do online searches – Type a company name or product in a search engine with “review” or “complaint”
- Don’t believe your caller ID – Technology makes it easy for scammers to program fake caller ID’s
- Consider how you pay – Credit cards have significant fraud protection; money grams and prepaid cards do not
- Talk to someone – Before you give up money or personal information, talk to someone or do some research; scammers usually want quick, rushed decisions/payments
- Hang up on robocalls – If you hear a recorded sales pitch hang up; these calls are illegal and often the products are bogus; and never press 1 to speak to a person or be taken off the list, as it can lead to more calls
- Be skeptical about free trial offers – Many sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel
- Don’t deposit a check and wire money back – Often it can take banks weeks to discover a fake check, and by then you’ve already sent funds to the scammer leaving your account in arrears
- Sign up for free scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/scams; this will provide you with the latest tips and advice about current scams; individuals can report scams to ftc.gov/complaint
“It is near impossible to keep up with new scams that are continually surfacing—the best defense against falling victim to fraud is to be an educated consumer,” Traylor adds.