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From fake sweepstakes to lies about your church - how scammers are targeting you

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Posted at 10:52 AM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 10:52:43-05

ORLEANS COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Police in Albion and Holley want neighbors to know about a number of scams they've been investigating. They say people have been scammed out of thousands of dollars, so they want everyone to be aware and vigilant.

Here are some of the scams they want you to know about:

  • In one case, a person got a text message saying that a member of their parish was sick, and in need of cash and gift cards.
  • Police say some people got a mailer claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House. They were told they won a $100,000 prize, and to send money electronically to cover the tax before they got the payout.
  • One victim got a text message telling them that they had been selected to be an undercover shopper to evaluate stores. The person gave a mailing address, then got information in the mail telling them to purchase Walmart gift cards, and send the card numbers *and their bank account information* so money could be put into their account for shopping. The victim's bank account was then emptied electronically by scammers.

Police say in many cases there is very little they can do to get the money back for these victims, because most scammers use ghost addresses and fake identification. They say crimes like these are very hard to investigate and trace, so they want neighbors to know if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.