Amherst, NY (WKBW) The Amherst Police Department is seeing a recent rise in scams, many of them happening over the home.
Some of the scams follow common scripts used in fraud cases, like claiming the potential victim has won a prize that requires a money transfer.
Police in Amherst have issued the bulletin below to help residents avoid scams.
The Amherst Police would like to warn residents to be aware of these recent scams:
-A phone call that a relative has been arrested and is in jail and needs to have money wired to bail them out. The caller may represent themself as a bail bondsman.
-A phone call that a relative has been in a car accident and needs money for a tow truck or to have his/her car fixed. Sometimes the caller will act as a relative, or even a police officer. Resist the urge to act immediately.
-If you possess a United States Visa, be aware that a caller may claim to be from the U.S. Department of State or Homeland Security and will ask you to have money wired to prevent your Visa from being revoked.
-If you are selling items through classified ads or internet sites such as craigslist, never accept a check for a value more than you are selling the item for with a promise you can keep a portion of the extra money. A buyer may offer to send you a check for $1,000 for your $100 item and tell you to keep $200 for your trouble and return the $700 the buyer. The check will later bounce and the cash will be gone.
Follow these few basic rules to help prevent becoming a victim of a scam:
-Resist pressure to make a decision immediately.
-Keep your credit card, checking account, or Social Security numbers to yourself. Don't tell them to callers you don't know — even if they ask you to “confirm” this information. That is a trick.
-Don’t pay for something just because you’ll get a “free gift.”
-Get all information in writing before you agree to buy.
-Check out a charity before you give a donation. Ask how much of your donation actually goes to the charity. Ask the caller to send you written information so you can make an informed decision without being pressured or rushed into it.
-Don’t send cash by messenger, overnight mail, or money transfer. If you use cash or a money transfer — rather than a credit card — you may lose your right to dispute fraudulent charges. The money will be gone.
-If a caller from a government office or utilities provider states you need to purchase a “Green Dot MoneyPak” card and provide them the numbers from the card, the caller is likely a scammer.
-Don’t agree to any offer for which you have to pay a “registration” or “shipping” fee to get a prize or a gift.
-Research offers with your Consumer Protection Agency or state Attorney General’s office before you agree to send money. Also, a simple Internet search of some key words from the caller can reveal that the caller is a scammer.
-Beware of offers to “help” you recover money you have already lost. Callers that say they are law enforcement officers who will help you get your money back “for a fee” are scammers.
If you feel the call is a scam, ask for a phone number to return the call and:
-Contact the Buffalo Regional Office of the NYS Attorney General’s Office at 716-853-8404
-Visit the Federal Trade Commission website at http://www.ftc.gov/. Here you can research information on scam alerts, report a scam, and register to get scam alerts by email.
If you are the victim of a scam, contact the police and provide as much information of the scammer as you can get, including, but not limited to:
Address where money is to be sent
Dollar amount lost and form of payment