SCAM ALERT: Across Joplin Metro; Covid Survey Fraud, Tree Trimmers, Judicial Workers, Post Office Texts, Social Security Snags, You Have a Warrant, Grandma Bail Me Out!

Joplin News First

JOPLIN METRO AREA — Is there a certain time of year that criminals celebrate ‘scam season’? We don’t believe that’s true. But there are numerous local scam warnings out currently.


COVID-19 SCAM ASKING TO FILL OUT SURVEY — JOPLIN METRO AREA — IMPORTANT SCAM ALERT FROM MISSOURI SMP “… issues Covid-19 scam alert about suspicious email survey. The Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) is warning older adults to be aware of a new COVID-19 vaccine email scam. A suspicious email asks people to complete a survey and to receive a free reward in exchange for a nominal fee ‘to cover shipping.’ Survey scams such as this are a creative way to steal a consumer’s identity or money. Many survey scams offer a reward and give folks a limited time to respond if they want to take the survey. A legitimate survey would not assign a time limit, nor would it ask for a credit card or bank account to pay for a reward. Scammers know people have received vaccines and are capitalizing on it. The SMP advises consumers not to give out personal or financial information. Fake surveys can be used to steal personal information; collect data about someone to commit identity theft; or to install malware on a computer when the user clicks on a link in the email. Anyone who has responded to this or a similar vaccine survey email should call the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565. Click here to learn more from the Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol Website.
TREE TRIMMERS — Parsons, Kansas, Police with information on Wednesday, March 11, “Be on the lookout for a Red Pickup Truck. Three individuals stopped at a residence on today’s date (10 March 2021) stating they were a tree trimming service and offered their services to a homeowner in Bronson. After receiving payment the individuals left the property and did not return. If you see this vehicle contact Dispatch (620-223-1700) You may also submit a crime tip through our website.”
POST OFFICE DOES NOT SEND OUT PERSONAL TEXTS — Galena, Kansas, Postmaster posts a note in a social media group Wednesday, March 11, “I have received several phone calls about individuals receiving text message from the postal service from a guy named Kevin. The postal service does not send out text messages. It is a Scam and Kevin needs to stop!!!! 😂 It’s probably in your best interest to delete the message without opening it.”
INDIVIDUALS SEARCHING FOR SOMEONE — WINDOW DECAL SAYS NEWTON COUNTY JUDICIALNewton County Detectives are investigating incidents of a white four-door sedan with what appears to be a badge logo in black and yellow with the phrase “Newton County Judicial” written on the front doors. The vehicle is occupied by two people, a white male and a white female. The subjects are approaching residences and demanding to enter the residence on the pretense of “looking for someone.” Detectives are asking for the public’s assistance. If this vehicle is located, please call 911 immediately or our dispatch at 417-451-8333 with location and/or license plate number. Please do not make contact with them.” CHIEF DEPUTY GELLER OF NEWTON COUNTY MO SHERIFF’S OFFICE Click here to submit a tip to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM SOCIAL SECURITY SCAMS — SOMEONE IS TRYING TO SNAG YOUR NUMBER! — BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR FAKE CALLS AND EMAILS — Cassville Police Department have good reminders to share with you and your friends as these scammers pop up often. Learn more by clicking here to the Social Security’s Scam Info Section of their Web Page.
OH NO! YOU HAVE A WARRANT! Greene County Sheriff’s Office say they will never ask you for payment over the phone for a warrant. “Do your research and be diligent to protect yourselves from scams.” Click here to follow our INSTA and see more news as you surf.

SHERIFF SPEAK SCAMS MARCH 15, 2021 The Phelps County Sheriff’s Department continues to receive complaints of various…

Posted by Phelps County Sheriffs Department on Monday, March 15, 2021

Phelps County is Rolla, Missouri and the Sheriff’s office shares some important information on scams. You can report scams to the FBI by clicking here: https://www.ic3.gov/Home/FileComplaint

GRANDCHILD IN DISTRESS – A grandparent receives a frantic call from someone they believe to be their grandchild. The supposed grandchild sounds distressed and may be calling from a noisy location. The supposed grandchild claims to be involved in some type of trouble while traveling in another state, Canada or overseas, such as being arrested or in a car accident or needing emergency car repairs, and asks the grandparent to immediately wire money to post bail or pay for medical treatment or car repairs. The scammer typically asks for several thousand dollars, and may even call back again several hours or days later asking for more money. He or she may claim embarrassment about the alleged trouble and ask the grandparent to keep it a secret.

A variation of the scam may involve two scammers – the first scammer calls and poses as a grandchild under arrest. The second scammer, posing as some type of law enforcement officer, then gets on the phone with the grandparent and explains what fines need to be paid. Alternatively, the scammer may pretend to be a family friend or neighbor.

A common theme of the scam across the nation is the caller’s request for the grandparent to wire money through Western Union or MoneyGram or to provide bank account routing numbers. Wiring money is like sending cash; there are no protections for the sender. Typically, there is no way you can reverse the transaction, trace the money, or recover payment from the telephone con artists.

BAIL BOND SCAM – This scam has personally affected my family. The victim is contacted via telephone by a person claiming to be a friend of a relative of the victim. The victim is told that the relative has been arrested for an outstanding warrant or some other minor charge, and needs money to get out of jail. The “friend” asks the victim for the bail money. If the victim agrees, the caller will arrange for himself or another person to pick up the money.

SWEEPSTAKES/LOTTERY – You’ve Just Won $25,000! Or a boat, or a car, or something else “valuable.” So goes the pitch. But if you’re asked to pay before you get your prize, it’s a scam. Often these outfits claim the money is for shipping, taxes, or something like that. But legitimate companies rarely require any payment or purchase up front.

Another popular scam involves a suspect calling a victim and claiming the victim has won a large amount of money or other prize. The scammer then tells the victim that all they have to do is pay a tax or handling fee to receive the prize. Most of these scams involve an attempt to get the victim to wire transfer money to the scammer using a service such at Western Union.

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