By Tyler Trieglaff

Notes from the Chief

Last Wednesday, Officer Bret visited with the Neighbor to Neighbor group in town and talked about scams people may try on the older generation. Below are the crib notes given to those attending and I thought it would be good to share with all of you.

Thirteen common senior citizen scams to know about:

1. THE GRANDPARENT SCAM: The claim that a grandchild is in trouble & a large sum of money is needed to free the grandchild. They will ask for cash, gift cards or wire transfers. They may threaten harm if you ask too many questions & want you to act quickly.

2. GOVERNMENT IMPOSTER SCAM: Caller claims to be from a government agency such as Social Security Administration, Medicare, Internal Revenue Service, or the FBI. They may SPOOF the phone number. They may ask you to verify your full name and date of birth and/or SSN. In certain cases, they may request money depending upon the specific scam they are attempting.

3. ELDER FINANCIAL ABUSE: This is usually done by a known person who the victim trusts, such as a family member or friend. They gain access to an elderly person’s financial accounts and may trick the victim into signing over Power of Attorney.

4. FALSE INVESTMENT SCHEMES: Criminals pose as financial advisors with different types of investment opportunities. Please remember, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!” Often, they use high pressure sales tactics.

5. TECH SUPPORT SCAMS: The scammer poses as a tech support person from a known company. They tell you that your computer or other device has a virus. They trick you into downloading a program on to your device, so they can gain access to your banking information.

6. ROBOCALLS & PHISHING MESSAGES: Are tactics that are used in some of the previous types of scams. Government agencies will never call or email you to verify personal information. Do not open attachments with these emails.

7. SWEEPSTAKES & LOTTERY SCAMS: Criminal tells victim that they have won a large amount of money and need to provide banking information so the money can be transferred, or they have to pay certain amount as a fee to receive the larger amount.

8. ELDER ROMANCE SCAMS: Scammer has a fake social media profile. Once they have the victim’s trust, they claim to have a need such as family, medical expenses, charity, or travel expenses.

9. FUNERAL SCAMS: Criminal reads obituaries and shows up at a funeral demanding payment for an outstanding bill.

10. REVERSE MORTGAGE SCAMS: They use high pressure sales tactics claiming to help you gain access to the equity in your home. They may want power of attorney to speed up the process.

11. ONLINE SHOPPING SCAMS: Be aware of fake online shopping sites. Use only secure websites. They will have HTTP at the beginning of the online address. A fake site may have HTTPS.

12. CHARITY SCAM: Thief claims to be a representative of a charity organization. This may occur either in person, phone calls or emails.

13. HOME IMPROVEMENT SCAM: Victim is promised home improvement type work but is charged an excessive amount. Lightning Protection, Driveway work, etc.

Prevention tips

STOP: Take a moment and think about the situation. Does it feel suspicious?

LEAVE: Hang up, close the door, or close the email. If you’re feeling pressured, it could be a scam!

ASK: Call a family member or other person whom you trust to seek advice. If it’s in person, ask to see identification.

WAIT: Do not rush to any decisions.

ACTIONS: Use only legitimate websites and verified safe phone numbers.

NEVER share personal information or financial account(s) information on the phone, via text messages or emails.

CONSIDER: Identity theft protection through a reputable company.

COMMUNICATE: If you should fall victim to a scam, don’t be ashamed. Report your situation to the authorities, so it may be investigated, and it will help to inform and prevent others.

Friday, Sept. 15

8:30 a.m. Resident reporting checks being cashed from her account. Checks were stolen from an old address in the county some time ago. Report forwarded to deputy at the county.

Saturday, Sept. 16

3:54 p.m. Driver license found in the county turned into officer.

9:26 p.m. Report of debris on Co Hwy 29. Officer removed the insulation pieces.

9:43 p.m. Debit card turned into gas station. Officer took possession of the card.

11:13 p.m. Driving complaint on US Hwy 10 of an impaired driver. State Trooper pulled vehicle over by Perham.

Sunday, Sept. 17

5:55 p.m. 911 hang-up on Main Ave W. Unable to locate

8:54 p.m. Welfare check requested on kids. Kids were ok.

Monday, Sept. 18

12:36 p.m. Complaint of camper parked on the street.

3 p.m. Officer assisted motorist with stalled vehicle.

7:25 p.m. Report of theft of tools from a handyman.

Tuesday, Sept. 19

11:08 a.m. Assist with a medical.

1:32 p.m. Civil issue with a parent wanting to see kids.

5:29 p.m. Report of a dog biting a neighbor.

7:07 p.m. Report of male walking on US Hwy 10. Officer gave male a ride to Perham.

Wednesday, Sept. 20

8:37 a.m. Report of two dogs getting into a dispute, most likely related to one dog biting the other’s owner the night before. Dogs and owners asked to figure the situation out. Landlord may get involved also.

10 a.m. Officer talked with Neighbor to Neighbor group about scams that prey on the elderly.

12:05 p.m. Business reporting two NSF checks.

1:09 p.m. Report from the school that students may have exchanged inappropriate pictures dating back a year ago. Officer will talk with the involved parties to try and remedy a situation.

1:23 p.m. Report of a male at the school trying to see his nephews. School personnel did not let male in the building as he was not on the contact list for the students.

6:40 p.m. Adult male reporting that a female he was messaging with was threatening to kill his daughter if he did not pay her some money. The adult daughter lives in Oklahoma and the female supposedly lives in the Dunvilla area. Officer told the male to not chat with people he does not know as he is falling into junior high type drama.

Thursday Sept. 21

7:02 a.m. Assist with a medical.

8:47 a.m. Assist with drill at the high school.

9:11 a.m. Assist with a student that may be under the influence of something.

5:04 p.m. Female reporting that her ex-husband hacked into her Amazon account.

7:55 p.m. Two vehicle crash at Lake St N and Birch Ave E. No apparent injuries. Officer gave one driver a ride to a hotel in Perham.