GarCo Sheriff’s Office warns of scams
The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be aware and know the signs of several fraudulent scams being reported in the county.
The first scam involves a caller pretending to be with the IRS. The caller states that the victim owes money in back taxes and that the bill must be paid immediately to avoid additional penalties, according to a press release. The victim is told that they can purchase Green Dot cards at a local store and call in the number on the cards to pay the debt immediately.
However, in cases where someone actually owes back taxes, the IRS will send a written notice.
According to the release, a victim of this scam avoided a potential loss of $10,000 thanks to the reactions of a clerk at a local Kum & Go. The clerk alerted the Green Dot Company of the transaction before the perpetrator was able to redeem the cards.
Not everyone is as lucky, and several people in the area have already fallen victim to this scam, the release states.
In the other scan being reported in Garfield County, victims receive an email encouraging them to participate in a test market and be a “mystery shopper.” The use of email can lend some legitimacy to the scam over the traditional phone scam, according to the release.
Victims who agree to participate are mailed what appears to be a legitimate cashier’s check.
The perpetrator then instructs the victim to deposit the cashier’s check into his or her bank account. The victim is told to keep a portion of the money and use the rest to purchase money-grams to be mailed out to a predetermined list of recipients.
By the time the victim realizes that the cashier’s check was fake and has failed to clear, the money-grams have already been purchased and sent out — leaving victims with no recourse, according to the release.
The scam seems legitimate and takes time to implement, further legitimizing it.
The sheriff’s office warns that if it sounds too easy or too good to be true, it probably is.
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