DO NOT SEND MONEY TO PEOPLE YOU DO NOT KNOW!
The Williamsburg Police Department strives to help people avoid being the victims of fraud, so below we have provided some tips on how to avoid being scammed. We cannot guarantee you will never be a victim of fraud, but if you follow these basic tips, you can avoid most scams and know what to do if you are the victim of fraud.
- Never use Google Play or iTunes gift cards to pay for anything outside of the Play or Apple stores.
- Never share the card number from the back of the gift cards.
- Never use gift cards for anything except to give as a gift.
- Telephone scams - Scammers will call or text with different types of offers like free product, trips, investment opportunities, and more. These calls may be robocalls or real people.
- Banking Scams - These are scams that attempt to access your bank account information. Some common types are over payment scams where scammers will send you a check, say they sent the check for too much, and ask you to wire it back to them. This results in you being out the value of the check plus whatever amount you wired to the scammer. Unsolicited checks are another type of banking scam where the offender will send you a check for no reason and once you cash it signs you up for a loan or purchase you did not want. Phishing scams are also fairly common. You may receive an email which asks you to confirm your bank information. Most banks will not ask you to do this in an email, so always check with you bank before confirming anything.
- IRS Scams - IRS Scams are another common type of fraud. These can occur year-round but can become more frequent during tax season. These usually consist of someone contacting you stating they are from the IRS either via phone or letter. They will say that you owe taxes and demand you pay them immediately. These scams can also include phishing emails asking you to confirm your information.
- Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams - These consist of victims receiving phone calls, robocalls, texts, or emails stating they have won some kind of prize. However, they must pay a small fee or provide their information in order to collect it.
- Medicare Scams - These scams are usually perpetrated by someone contacting the victim by phone stating that they need a new Medicare card. They will then ask you to provide them with your information so they can send a new card.
- DO review your bank and credit card statements for irregular amounts or strange purchases, review your personal credit report for new loans or leases that you do not recognize.
- DO NOT give your information to people you do not know. Scammers and thieves may contact you by phone, email, mail, or even in person asking you to provide or confirm your information.
- DO shred or destroy receipts, credit offers, expired credit cards, and any other document that could contain your personal information. This prevents someone going through your trash and obtaining your information.
- DO NOT carry your social security card with you unless necessary, store it and other personal information in a secure location.
- DO create complex passwords, install firewalls or protection software on your electronic devices, and use your phone's security features.
Williamsburg Police Department
425 Armistead Ave.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Phone: (757) 220-2331