Throughout the year the Callaway County Sheriff’s Office receives numerous complaints from citizens about mail, telephone and internet fraud.
Please be on the lookout for mailings that appear to be legitimate and ask you to cash an included check and return a portion of the check to the sender by Moneygram. Typically the scam includes instructions stating that you won a lottery and the check is to cover the taxes on your winnings. All you have to do is cash the check and return a portion of the total to pay the taxes. Of course you get to keep the difference “for you trouble”.
Feel free to do an internet search of the bank or any business or address listed on the check or in the letter. You will likely find that they are all legitimate, but be warned, this is a scam and you will lose any money you send off.
Another problem pertains to people saying they are from your bank, asking for personal information such as birth dates and social security numbers. If it truly was your bank, they would have that information.
Internet fraud is another huge problem for citizens here and throughout the country. People often solicit personal information in much the same way as telephone fraud, additionally people use the internet to defraud people the same way as in mail fraud. On auction sites such as Craig’s List a purchaser may send you a check to pay for shipping on an item you are selling. If you receive a check for an amount greater than needed be very suspicious. The person then asks you to deposit the check and send a portion of the check back, generally by Moneygram. Of course you get to keep a small amount of money for your trouble.
A growing trend includes con artists calling elderly citizens claiming to be a grandchild in need of money, often to post bond after an arrest in a foreign country.
These are not the only scams that you may face, so please be cautious. And as always, you may contact the Sheriff’s Office with any questions.