Don’t get scammed

Duluth Police want to advise citizens of recent reports of money transfer scams.
The Duluth Police Department has recently taken reports of money scams involving Western Union money transfers. The suspect(s) are calling elderly people and posing as a relative who was involved in an automobile accident, saying that they are in jail in Canada. The caller then tells the victim that they need a large sum of money to get bailed out of jail. After the money is sent via Western Union, the victims are finding out that the call was a scam.
The Duluth Police Department would advise the public that if you get a call from someone saying they are a family member or someone claiming to represent a family member asking you to wire money, for example, do not panic and resist the urge to act immediately.   Some guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission are:
  • Try to verify the caller’s identity by asking personal questions a stranger couldn’t answer.
  • Resist the pressure to act immediately; don’t be afraid to use a phone number you know to be genuine to call back. If you don’t have the relative’s phone number, get in touch with the person’s parent, spouse, or another close family member to check out the story before you send any money, even if you’ve been told to keep the event a secret.
  • If you can’t reach a family member and still aren’t sure what to do, call your local police, they can help sort things out.
  • No matter how dramatic the story, don’t wire money. Don’t send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier, either. Con artists recommend these services so they can get your money before you realize you’ve been cheated.
  • Report possible fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP
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