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BURGLARY & FRAUD PREVENTION

On August 24th, NMPD Detectives conducted two training sessions at the NMPD Community Room for community members who were interested in learning more about burglary and fraud prevention.  While the turnout was small, the interactions were very positive and the attendees will bring what they learned to friends and neighbors thereby extending our educational reach.  As issues of interest develop, we will hold future sessions to keep residents informed and prepared.

Police Chief, NMPD

PRESENTATIONS

Fraud Prevention

Click to download the full presentation.

Burglary Prevention

Click to download the full presentation.

Fraud Prevention

DET. BRIAN GANGELHOFF #706

NORTH MANKATO POLICE DEPARTMENT

8/24/17

The Scammer

  • Make no mistake; these criminals are not your average back street crook.

  • These criminals run their scams as a professional business – and are very good at it!

  • They may be headquartered overseas, but will have other employees to help grow their ‘business’ and profits.

  • They are continuously planning and thinking about their next scam.

The Scams

Pay First Scam 

  • These scams require the victim to send in a payment in order to receive or confirm a prize.  Scammers often tell the victim the payment is needed to cover taxes or claim the prize.

  • Lottery scams are huge, and the majority of these criminals are foreign based.  Canadian and Jamaican groups are major players in this scam, and MN is within their target list.

  • Mass solicitation to target audience: YOU WON!

  • Personal communication established:  DON’T Tell!

  • Wire transfer of funds:  SEND QUICKLY!  

The Scams

Emotional

  • These scams prey on emotional triggers to get the victim to send money.  Once contact is established, communication can become vulgar or threatening.

  • Once the scam is stopped, the victim can carry emotional scars from the scam that may affect them for a long time.

The Scams

Phone

  • These scams often take place without the victim knowing it is happening.  They are tricked into paying invoices for services they did not receive, or fall victim to phone phishing (tricking the victim to provide personal information).

The Scams

Classified Ads / Internet

  • These scams focus on false postings on social media to get your money before you realize the posting is fake.

  • Fake pop-up on your computer screen WARNING of a VIRUS and to call the number listed for assistance.  These scammers will remotely access your personal computer (PC).

Common Scams Tactics

  • Romance (Emotional):  Loss of money and emotional distress.
  • Lottery/Sweepstakes (Pay First):  Prize winner – must pay taxes first.
  • Overpayment (Classified Ads):  Check sent for more than amount, asks for difference to be wired back.
  • Hitman (Emotional):  Hired to harm a loved one and may have obtained a picture of your loved one, via social media.
  • Government Official (Emotional):  Owe money to the IRS – no payment means arrest or warrant for arrest.
  • Grandparent (Emotional):  Tricked into thinking they know the person (grandchild) and ask for money to be wired.
  • IT Support (Emotional):  Computer has a virus call this number!!  Gain remote access to PC.

Hints it's a Ripoff!!

  • You must send payment by wire, courier, gift card, or reloadable cards.

  • Potential buyer, renter, or seller sends overpayment and asks for refund.

  • It’s too good to be true!

  • You won the lottery but didn’t buy a ticket or won a contest without registering for it.

  • You must rush and keep all details confidential.

  • You must pay fees or buy a product before you can collect your prize.

  • Payment in gift cards or reloadable cards.

Prevention Tips


  1. Know who you’re dealing with

  • In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company or organization is credible.  Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you.  Always call the number found on the website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Prevention Tips


  1. Pay the safest way

  • Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented.  Federal law limits your liability to $50.00 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Prevention Tips


  1. Guard your personal information

  • Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented.  Federal law limits your liability to $50.00 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Prevention Tips

  1. Stay safe online

  • Don’t send sensitive information such as credit card numbers by email because it’s not secure. Look for clues about security on websites. At the point where you are asked to provide your financial or other sensitive information, the letters at the beginning of the address bar at the top of the screen should change from “http” to “https” or “shttp.” Your browser may also show that the information is being encrypted, or scrambled, so no one who might intercept it can read it. But while your information may be safe in transmission, that’s no guarantee that the company will store it securely. See what websites say about how your information is safeguarded in storage.

Prevention Tips


  1. Be cautious about unsolicited emails

  • They are often fraudulent. If you are familiar with the company or charity that sent you the email and you don’t want to receive further messages, send a reply asking to be removed from the email list. However, responding to unknown senders may simply verify that yours is a working email address and result in even more unwanted messages from strangers. The best approach may simply be to delete the email.

Prevention Tips


  1. Resist pressure

  • Legitimate companies and charities will be happy to give you time to make a decision. It’s probably a scam if they demand that you act immediately or won’t take “No” for an answer. Some scammers may also demand you pay off a loan immediately or damaging consequences may occur, always take time to look into who is requesting the money before you pay up.

Prevention Tips


  1. Don’t believe promises of easy money

  • If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Often times, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Prevention Tips


  1. Fully understand the offer

  • A legitimate seller will give you all the details about the products or services, the total price, the delivery time, the refund and cancellation policies, and the terms of any warranty. Contact the seller if any of these details are missing or they are unable to provide the details.  It may be a sign that it’s a scam.

Prevention Tips


  1. Get off credit marketing lists

  • Credit bureaus compile marketing lists for pre-approved offers of credit. These mailings are a gold mine for identity thieves, who may steal them and apply for credit in your name. Get off these mailing lists by calling “Consumer Credit Reporting” at 888-567-8688 (your social security number will be required to verify your identity). Removing yourself from these lists does not hurt your chances of applying for or getting credit.

Prevention Tips

  1. Check your credit reports regularly

  • If you find accounts that don’t belong to you or other incorrect information, follow the instructions for disputing those items. You can ask for free copies of your credit reports in certain situations. If you were denied credit because of information in a credit report, you can ask the credit bureau that the report came from for a free copy of your file. And if you are the victim of identity theft, you can ask all three of the major credit bureaus for free copies of your reports. Contact the credit bureaus at: Equifax, 800-685-111; Experian, 800-311-4769; TransUnion, 800-888-4213.
  • Everyone can request free copies of their credit reports once a year. In addition to the rights described above, a new federal law entitles all consumers to ask each of the three major credit bureaus for free copies of their reports once in every 12-month period. Go to www.ftc.gov/credit or call 877-382-4357 for more details and to see when you can make your requests. You don’t have to ask all three credit bureaus for your reports at the same time; you can stagger your requests if you prefer. Do not contact the credit bureaus directly for these free annual reports. They are only available by calling 877-322-8228 or going to www.annualcreditreport.com. You can make your requests by phone or online, or download a form to mail your requests.

Prevention Tips


  1. Be cautious about offers for credit monitoring services   

  • Why pay extra for them when you can get your credit reports for free or very cheap? Read the description of the services carefully. Unless you’re a victim of serious and ongoing identity theft, buying a service that alerts you to certain activities in your credit files probably isn’t worthwhile, especially if it costs hundreds of dollars a year. You can purchase copies of your credit reports anytime for about $9 through the bureaus’ websites or by phone: Equifax, 800-685-111; Experian, 800-311-4769; TransUnion, 800-888-4213.

Victim of fraud / scam

  • If you believe you are the victim or fraud/scam you should notify your local police department.

  • If you have suffered a financial loss, due to the fraud/scam, and law enforcement is able to apprehend the perpetrator he/she could be charged with;

    • Theft / Theft by Swindle – MN SS:  609.52

    • Identity Theft – MN SS:  609.527

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