October 16th, 2019 2:40 P.M.
Phone and Internet Based Gift/Credit Card Scams
The Redding Police Department has recently received multiple reports of victims who were duped by internet or phone based financial scams. Losses in excess of $90,000.00 have been reported by victims.
There are many variations of these scams, but they all result in the victims purchasing gift cards for the scammers or providing them with bank account and credit card account information. The scammers may even initially deposit small amounts of money into the victim’s accounts, or make small payments on credit cards to gain their trust before stealing large amounts of money.
The scammers will often pose as law enforcement, a government agency, or a relative in distress to gain the victim’s trust. They will attach urgency to most of their stories in an effort to convince the victim to act swiftly and disregard any second thoughts the victim may have regarding disclosing financial information.
In one recent instance, the scammers attempted to represent themselves as the Redding Police Department. The Redding Police Department will never contact individuals via telephone demanding payment or banking information for any reason.
As a reminder, victims should never provide banking or credit account information to anyone via the internet or over the phone unless they are absolutely certain of who they are communicating with. Scammers can fake or spoof phone numbers, email addresses, web sites, and social media profiles to make their operation appear legitimate.
The Federal Trade Commission provides information regarding phone and internet based scams on their web site at www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts
Complaints regarding internet based scams can also be filed through the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov
Contact: Sergeant Todd Cogle #301
Redding Police Department
Reviewed: Brindley #612