Melrose Police Department http://melrosepolice.net Working to Make Melrose a Safer Place Mon, 18 Jun 2018 06:32:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 Melrose Police Remind Residents to be Aware of Telephone and Identity Theft Scams http://melrosepolice.net/2017/04/24/melrose-police-remind-residents-aware-telephone-identity-theft-scams/ http://melrosepolice.net/2017/04/24/melrose-police-remind-residents-aware-telephone-identity-theft-scams/#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:06:57 +0000 http://melrosepolice.net/?p=364700 6a015393f55fc9970b017d41137d32970c-800wi

Melrose Police Department
Michael L. Lyle, Chief
56 W. Foster St.
Melrose, MA 02176

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, April 24, 2017

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

Melrose Police Remind Residents to be Aware of Telephone and Identity Theft Scams

MELROSE— Chief Michael L. Lyle and the Melrose Police Department would like to remind the community about several ongoing phone and identity theft scams following two incidents that occurred in the city last week.

On April 19, a resident reported that he received a phone call from a man who claimed the resident’s granddaughter was in jail in Florida. The scammer said in order for the girl to be released from jail, the resident would need to pay $6,000 in bail. In an attempt to make the situation appear legitimate, the scammer had a recording of a girl crying in the background, who the resident believed could be his granddaughter in distress. The resident realized the call was fraudulent when the scammer told him to get three $2,000 Home Depot gift cards as the form of payment. The resident hung up and immediately called Melrose Police.

Chief Lyle urges residents to remember that if they give away a pre-paid debit or gift card number, or makes a wire transfer or money order, the money is gone and lost forever, and there is usually no way to recover those funds.

“These are very cunning criminals, do not engage them,” Chief Lyle said. “If you feel something is wrong, hang up the phone and call police to verify. In almost all of these cases, the caller is attempting to scam you.”

In another incident that occurred last week, a resident called the Melrose Police Department to report that a scammer had obtained her credit card information and ordered an item off Amazon. The scammer had the parcel delivered to the resident’s address and waited outside for the delivery to arrive. The scammer then pretended to be the homeowner and signed for the product. The victim was completely unaware that someone had ordered a package, sent it to her house and then signed for it.

The FBI reports that if a credit card isn’t physically stolen, it’s usually compromised with technology, like through card skimmers. If a purchase has been made that you did not authorize, report it to police and contact your credit card company immediately to dispute the charge.

The FBI offers several tips for avoiding credit card fraud, including:

  • Don’t give out your credit card number online unless the site is secure and reputable. Sometimes a tiny icon of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of security to transmit data. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but provides some assurance.
  • Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from a reputable source. Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are legitimate. Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
  • Send an email to the seller to make sure the email address is active, and be wary of those that utilize free email services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area and check out other websites regarding this person/company.
  • Be cautious when responding to special investment offers, especially through unsolicited e-mail.
  • Keep a list of all your credit cards and account information along with the card issuer’s contact information. If anything looks suspicious or you lose your credit card(s), contact the card issuer immediately.

Anyone who has questions, concerns, or believes they are the victim of a scam should contact the Melrose Police Department at 781-665-1212.

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Melrose Police Warn Residents about Phone and Email IRS Scams http://melrosepolice.net/2015/06/23/melrose-police-warn-residents-about-phone-and-email-irs-scams/ http://melrosepolice.net/2015/06/23/melrose-police-warn-residents-about-phone-and-email-irs-scams/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 18:23:57 +0000 http://melrosepolice.net/?p=279582 6a015393f55fc9970b017d41137d32970c-800wi

Melrose Police Department
Michael L. Lyle, Chief
56 W. Foster St.
Melrose, MA 02176

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

Contact: Jessica Sacco
Phone: 978-769-5193
Email: jessica@jgpr.net

Melrose Police Warn Residents about Phone and Email IRS Scams

MELROSE — Police Chief Michael L. Lyle would like to warn residents about ongoing IRS scams in the community and advise them to never respond to threats.

The Melrose Police Department has received multiple reports from residents about various phone scams. In one instance, an “agent” claims to be from the IRS and reports there is a lawsuit against the victim, who is told to call a number and settle the claim.

IRS scammers will also call to inform residents they owe money and must pay it immediately through a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The “agent” tells the victim that if they do not cooperate, they will be arrested, deported, or their business license or driver’s license will be suspended. The caller is often intimidating and may make hostile and insulting statements.

“Anyone who receives a call like this should just hang up and not engage these scammers,” Chief Lyle said. “Do not play into their request, no matter how convincing they may seem. Please immediately report this to the police department.”

If a victim gives away a pre-paid debit card number or makes a wire transfer, the money is gone and lost forever. There is usually no way to recover those funds.

“If someone calls unexpectedly claiming to be from the IRS with aggressive threats if you don’t pay immediately, it’s a scam artist calling,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a statement on the issue. “The first IRS contact with taxpayers is usually through the mail. Taxpayers have rights, and this is not how we do business.”

Other characteristics of scams include:

• Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.

• Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.

• Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.

• Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.

• Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.

• After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

• If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.

• If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.

• If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

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