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Benton police warn residents of possible scam

May 2, 2013

FROM THE BENTON POLICE DEPARTMENT:

The Benton Police Department would like to warn citizens about the potential dangers of a scam that has been reported. Two reports were recently taken where suspects attempted to scam a subject out of personal information involving an alleged contest.
In the incident reported to us, the citizen was contacted by somebody claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House and MGM Casino in Las Vegas. While speaking with the alleged employees they were told they had won a contest where they were randomly selected for prizes including a new car and a cashier’s check for $455,000.
The citizen then started to ask more questions about the contest and was directed to different people, including an alleged president of UPS who was in charge of the winner’s delivery. When the citizen continued questioning them, the subjects became very angry and hung up.
Although the subject didn’t get to the point of asking for personal information, they did try to find out their address. It’s quite possible their goal was to obtain other personal information had the citizen not started questioning their identity and things that didn’t add up in their story. It is also possible with these types of calls that the subjects were attempting to determine if they were home or not so that criminal activity could be conducted while they were away.
With incidents like these, we would like to warn our community about the possible dangers and pitfalls of phone solicitors. Although they can be entirely legitimate, you should use caution when speaking with them. Scams like this commonly involve using online sites such as Craigslist or EBay, and sometimes they will even pretend to be your financial institution.
Remember to never give out your personal information, especially credit card or social security numbers, over the phone if they are contacting you. It’s a good idea to tell them you will contact them back, and then call their company phone number to see if they are legitimate.
The old adage is true in cases like these, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t.” Go with your instinct in these cases and if you have any doubts about their legitimacy then please contact the police department about it.

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