BAY AREA, CA — Bay Area police departments issued warnings to the public Friday about scams that have been reported.
The Danville Police Department sent an alert about an email/telephone ploy claiming to be from online retailer Amazon.
“The victim will receive an email purportedly from Amazon congratulating them on their recent purchase,” the department said in a release. “When the victim (who hasn’t made a purchase) calls the included phone number to report the mistake they are asked for personal identification or remote access to their computer so the company can ‘rectify’ the mistake. Instead, the scammer gets access to your personal files and information which allows them to make even more mischief.”
Instead of calling, people should log into their Amazon account and check their purchase history. If an irregularity is noticed, contact with Amazon should be done via information from its website.
“The important thing to remember when receiving emails or phone calls from companies or agencies is to approach it with a healthy dose of skepticism,” the department said. Government agencies, in particular, will not ask you for your social security number, credit card, etc.
The South San Francisco Police Department, meanwhile, is warning residents to beware of a scam that mimics the department’s telephone number, (650) 877-8900, on the victim’s caller ID.
“The scam involves someone claiming the victim is under investigation, has a warrant, or subject to arrest for various reasons including having bad credit or an outstanding parking ticket,” the department said in an advisory. “In most cases, the suspect threatens the victim with arrest unless they pay fees via MoneyGram or prepaid gift cards.”
The South San Francisco Police Department says that using spoof numbers of legitimate agencies is a common scam being perpetrated in jurisdictions across the country.
“The public is reminded that the South San Francisco Police Department does not call private citizens requesting money,” the advisory noted, warning the public to limit providing personal information on the telephone or online.
“Individuals receiving such calls are encouraged to end the call immediately,” the department said. “If you are a victim of a scam and suffer a monetary loss, please report the incident to your local police department.”
Most scam contact comes from overseas and the department encourages people receiving such calls to file a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.
—Bay City News Service