By Frank Denzler Rushville Republican
---- — In recent weeks, the Rush County Sheriff’s Department has received a number of calls from residents regarding fraudulent activity.
According to both local and county law enforcement agencies, scams seeking to bilk residents from their hard earned money are nothing new, although the number of reports has increased significantly.
Rush County chief deputy Terry Drake said he personally investigated two reports of fraudulent activity last week involving a caller posing as a member of a law enforcement agency. The caller contacted a rural resident and informed the individual that a warrant had been issued for their arrest and that law enforcement personnel were in route to serve the warrant and take them into custody. However, by paying a bond or fine with the use of a credit card over the phone, the warrant would be rescinded.
“Let me just say that no law enforcement officer or agent will call an individual and instruct them to pay over the phone or tell them they are on their way to arrest them,” Drake said.
Other scam reports have involved authentic looking checks mailed to a residence and informing the resident that they have won additional monies. They are instructed to call a number at which time additional instructions regarding their winnings will given. They are to cash the check just received and send or wire a set amount of money to cover taxes on their winnings at which time, there remainder of their winnings will be released.
Deputy Richard Gosser additional scams have been reported regarding Publisher’s Clearing House asking potential victims to purchase Green Dot cards and contact individuals with the security number located on the back of the cards.
“Once an individual has the number on the back of the cards, the money is immediately withdrawn and the victims are out the amount of money they purchased the card for,” Gosser said.
Law enforcement personnel were quick to add that phone solicitation scams are frequently the most difficult to investigate since the majority of callers are from out of the area and the money is wired overseas making it nearly impossible to trace or retrieve.
“The callers ask very leading questions in an attempt to gain information about individuals. They may seem very nice and sincere and then they turn that information into making the individual feel more comfortable as a means to gain banking or additional personal information such as birthday, home address and social security number,” Gosser said.
Essentially, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, law enforcement personnel say. Under no circumstances should individuals give personal information or any banking information out over the phone.
The RPD can be contacted at (765) 932-3907 or the RCSD at (765) 932-2931.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106.