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Lakes Area Police
Monday September 17th, 2012 :: 10:21 a.m. CDT


Scammers Swarm Through Phone Lines

Scammers Swarm Through Phone Lines

The new motto for high-tech thieves may well be, "Reach out and swindle someone.” Cell phones have made it easier to stay in touch, but they have also brought everyone closer to scam artists and tricksters, who are just a few numbers away from separating you from thousands of dollars. Anyone with a phone number is a target, and there is no shortage of flim-flam schemes. Here's a look at some scams happening now across the nation:

Jailhouse jingles.
An inmate calls collect from jail and tricks you into dialing a number starting with *72. But *72 activates call forwarding, giving control of your phone to the inmate -- who then makes long-distance phone calls or racks up fees on 900 numbers on your bill.

Election scam.
The phone scammer asks you to take a voter survey and says that at the end, you will get a free cruise. When you complete the bogus survey, the scammer asks for a debit or credit card number for port fees.

Utility scam.
A man at the other end of the phone tells you that President Obama has approved special funding through the Federal Reserve Bank to help you pay your utility bills. The scammer asks for a Social Security number, then provides you with a fake bank routing number to pay your utility bill.

Granny scam.
The scammer pretends to be a relative in urgent need due to an emergency. Seemingly panicked, they say they need funds right away and get you to wire money.

Text message identity rip-off.
A scammer offers a free $1,000 Walmart gift card through a link in a text message. When you click it, a website comes up requesting personal information that can be used to steal your identity.

Lakes Area Police
13292 Sylvan Ave
Lindstrom, MN 55045

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 651-257-0622

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