Scams more rampant than ever

Pandemic creating new scams with the same purpose


CLINTON — Scams certainly are nothing new, but the scams of yesterday pale in comparison to the sophisticated frauds of 2021.

Several years ago, a hot scam technique involved fraudsters sending unsuspecting consumers what appeared to be checks for large sums of money.  The only catch was the victim had to send a processing fee of a couple hundred dollars.  Of course, their prize check was bogus.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a whole new category of these types of scams.  The Walmart pandemic relief fund, for example. 

Victims receive a text message with a link allegedly from Walmart claiming they are entitled to $1,400 via direct deposit from the company.  Of course, Walmart is not in the pandemic relief business.  The ruse is a way of accessing people’s personal bank accounts.

Several people commenting on the Clinton Police Facebook page said they received the Walmart messages.  Fortunately, none of them were fooled.

Clinton Police also have reported a scam in which the department’s telephone number is “ghosted” to make it appear the call is coming from them.  It isn’t.  The caller in the scam tells the victim there is a warrant issued for them, and to avoid arrest, they are instructed to electronically trade U.S. currency for crypto currency using a Bitcoin kiosk.

“Never give out personal information over the phone; never provide payment to an unsolicited caller, and always contact local or familiar representatives for confirmation,” Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers advised on the Clinton Police Facebook page.

The Federal Trade Commission also offers advice to avoid being the victims of common scams.

Check out the link below to learn more.