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YCSO Cell Phone Scamming Alert

yavapai county sheriff officeSedona AZ (January 30, 2013) – I have been receiving e-mail alerts from other Crime Prevention Specialists around the country advising me of increased activities on cell phone scamming. I know that (it) has been talked about at the various Neighborhood Watch meetings, but I’d like to review it with you today:

If it’s too good to be true then it is!

You might receive a text message that states: “Your last month’s entry has WON! please go our website to claim your free $1000 Wal-Mart gift card. You must act fast; your prize must be claimed in 24 hours.”

STOP and think about it. Although the message may say Target, Macy’s, Sears or any nationally known store, what contest? Did I even enter one?

But you think about it and a free $1000 spending spree can be a lot of fun. So you go to the web site and fill out ALL of the information they want to know, and of course your credit card for the small “processing fee”. Some of these sites will even ask your mother’s maiden name.

Now you’re happy and wait for the gift card in the mail, and wait, and wait. You have just been scammed. Not only have you lost your “processing fee”, but they have your whole identity, plus your credit card.

What can I do?

1. Don’t even open that message. If you did not enter the contest how could you win?

2. Don’t go to their web site.

3. Do not give your personal information to anybody where you did not originate the call.

4. Be safe, be cautious; talk to someone about this.

If you feel that you have been scammed, file a complaint with the FTC at www.ic3.gov .

This SedonaEye.com Neighborhood Watch Alert written by Anthony J. Palermo, Community Services Specialist, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, 928.777-7223. 

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