Re-packaging Identity Theft scam

Scam AlertThe Wichita Falls Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit would like to inform people of the dangers of a re-packaging Identity Theft scam.

An individual(s) will compromise the victim’s identity and begin to purchase items in their name.  Often times they will have the items that were fraudulently purchased shipped to the victim’s address.  The suspects will then track the packages and when they are delivered/left at the victim’s home the suspect(s) will then simply go up and take the packages.  Often times the victim will never know their identity has been compromised until it is too late.

If you believe that you are the victim of identity theft or have any information regarding possible suspects involved in identity theft you are encouraged to contact the WFPD at 720-5000.

You can get a free credit report by going to FTC.gov – https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports?utm_source=takeaction

You can also file an identity theft report at https://www.identitytheft.gov/?utm_source=takeaction

This is a serious situation which occurs on a daily basis all over the United States. Take it seriously and check your information.

WFPD Seeing an Increase in Counterfeit Currencies

downloadOver the past couple of weeks the Wichita Falls Police Department has seen an increase in counterfeit bills being reported in the local area. The majority of the bills are 100’s. At this time there are little leads on suspect(s).

A way to prevent from becoming a victim is to gain knowledge. You can do that by learning what security features are incorporated into each bill. The following link is a PDF describing security features on various bills: (https://www.secretservice.gov/data/KnowYourMoney.pdf).

You can also take a free online training course at https://www.uscurrency.gov/training-course and learn more about the money you handle.

If you have any information on this crime you can contact the WFPD at 940-761-7792 or if you want to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 322-9888.

SCAM Alert

Scam AlertAccording to recent reports there has been a new scam popping up locally which is having a profound effect on local businesses.

The scam typically will go something like this:  an unknown subject (scammer) calls to speak with an employee (manager or assistant manager) and convinces him or her that they are with corporate offices or are detectives of an investigating agency. The scammer then convinces the employee they are conducting an investigation into bad business practices or embezzlement’s or other heinous crimes being committed by the owner or General Manager.

The scammer then has the employee get on their cell phone and not hang up as they listen to everything going on in the background and all along telling the employee exactly what to do.  The scammer convinces the employee to take all the money from the register(s) and leave the business.

The scammer then directs the employee to go to different locations such as Wal-Mart, CVS, Market Street, etc. The scammer tells the employee to put the money on green dots cards or the like and send them pictures or tell them the number on the back so he/she can access the money as quickly as possible. Once this is done, the money is gone and cannot be retrieved.  The employee has been scammed and the business is out the money.

Businesses need to speak to their employees about this ongoing scam ASAP and put procedures in place to effectively mitigate loss. If you have any questions about a particular situation contact the Wichita Falls Police Department at 940-761-7792.

Scam Alert

Scam AlertFinancial crime scams continue to hit our area. Recently the Wichita Falls Police Department has received reports in which victims have been contacted by someone stating they are with Apple and telling the victims that they have a virus on their device. The victims are directed by the caller to purchase prepaid iTunes gift cards and provide the caller with the PIN for each card in order to resolve the issue.

It is recommended that you use caution when receiving unsolicited calls requesting that you provide personal information (name, date of birth, etc.), passwords, financial information, purchase gift cards or send money.

Take down the caller’s information (name, business, phone number, etc.) and then you can follow up with the business to determine whether or not the request being made is legitimate.

If you have questions or concerns contact the Financial Crimes Unit at (940)761-7762.

Click the link below for additional information on recent scams.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts

Scam Alert: IRS Urges Taxpayers to Watch Out for Erroneous Refunds; Beware of Fake Calls to Return Money to a Collection Agency

downloadWith tax season upon on us also is the increase for various IRS scams.  One of the most recent involves erroneous refunds.

Criminals have a new twist on an old scam. After stealing client data from tax professionals and filing fraudulent tax returns, these criminals use the taxpayers’ real bank accounts for the deposit.

Thieves are then using various tactics to reclaim the refund from the taxpayers, and their versions of the scam may continue to evolve.

For more information regarding this scam and what to look out for so you do not fall victim you can visit IRS.gov or click here.

Don’t Be Fooled by Funny Money

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Over the past few weeks The Wichita Falls Police Department has seen an increase in counterfeit bills being reported in the local area. The majority of the bills are 100’s. At this time there are few leads on suspect(s).

A way to prevent from becoming a victim is to gain knowledge. You can do that by learning what security features are incorporated into each bill. The following link is a PDF describing security features on various bills: (https://www.secretservice.gov/data/KnowYourMoney.pdf).

You can also take a free online training course at https://www.uscurrency.gov/training-course and learn more about the money you handle.

If you have any information on this crime you can contact the WFPD at 940-761-7792 or if you want to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 322-9888.

WFPD Warns of IRS Scams

scam-alert

Financial scams are on the rise again. Recently there have been several reports of IRS scams demanding payment for alleged owed money. Scammers are calling unsuspecting victims and advising them they have a warrant for their arrest and/or the police are watching their residence planning to make an arrest if they do not pay. This is a scam that targets the elderly and/or unknowing.

Thousands of Dollars are lost each year to IRS Scammers please keep a look out for these false claims. Check on Family members and friends who you think could fall victim and warn them of the dangers of Scammers. Spread the word and protect one another from would be scammers.

If you have questions or to file a claim you can contact the IRS or visit:

https://www.irs.gov/uac/irs-urges-public-to-stay-alert-for-scam-phone-calls

Do not forget you can sign up for the latest scam alerts at:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts

Don’t Get Scammed at the Pumps

pump sealGas pump skimmers are a common method crooks use to steal your identity. Here are a few tips to help you as a consumer to avoid or reduce your risk of becoming a victim of a skimmer scam.

First look at the overall condition of the gas pump. Is there anything attached to it that appears out of place? Is there more than one card reader? Any visible wires on the outside of the machine? Is there tape holding objects on the pump?

If you notice anything attached to the outside of the pump that appears out of place or brand new in appearance compared to the pump itself, it could be a skimmer or camera. Some externally placed skimmers will allow the transaction when placed over or near the pump card reader, but will also steal your card information at the same time.

If possible avoid gas pumps that are out of view of the store employee. These pumps could be more easily compromised with a skimmer device since employees will not be able to see activity around the pump. Use the pumps that are within view of the employee these may have a reduced risk of being compromised.

Check to see if the pump has a security seal placed on the access door. If this seal is broken or gone, move on to another pump if possible. It could mean that the pump has been compromised. If the seal is missing or broken notify the employee immediately. If you have to use a pump with a broken seal, pay with cash or card inside and notify the employee about the condition of the gas pump.

Use a credit card instead of a debit card if possible. Many credit cards offer better protection against most types of fraud. Debit cards immediately withdraw money from your account. If you have to use a debit card, run it as a credit card so you don’t have to enter a PIN.

Bluetooth Skimmers –  More advanced skimmers are blue-tooth capable so the crook will not even have to come and get it! They will simply park nearby and access the blue tooth skimmer through mobile devices such as laptops or smart phones. Others that are externally attached may have to be retrieved by the crook at some point in time.

Suspicious People – If you see people hanging around gas pumps or pretending to be maintenance workers, inform the employees or call the police. It could be nothing or it could be the criminal retrieving stolen information.

Credit/Debit Cards – Finally, check your credit/debit cards or gas card statements regularly for any irregularities or unusual charges. Notify the police and credit card company as soon as possible for the fraudulent charges to protect yourself and your credit.

Cybersecurity Incident & Important Consumer Information

Cyber-Security-2The Wichita Falls Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit is wanting to make sure everyone is aware of a recent cyber attack against one of the leading consumer credit reporting agency and steps that you can take to help ensure that your identity is protected.

According to Equifax, “on July 29, 2017, Equifax discovered that criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. The company promptly engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm which has been conducting a comprehensive forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion, including the specific data impacted. Equifax also reported the criminal access to law enforcement and continues to work with authorities. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.”

To see if you were possibly affected click here and follow the instructions.

For further information regarding this you can visit the Equifax information page by clicking here.

WFPD Seeing Increase in Counterfeit Currency

downloadOver the past couple of weeks The Wichita Falls Police Department has seen an increase in counterfeit bills being reported in the local area. The majority of the bills are 100’s. At this time there are little leads on suspect(s).

A way to prevent from becoming a victim is to gain knowledge. You can do that by learning what security features are incorporated into each bill. The following link is a PDF describing security features on various bills: (https://www.secretservice.gov/data/KnowYourMoney.pdf).

You can also take a free online training course at https://www.uscurrency.gov/training-course and learn more about the money you handle.

If you have any information on this crime you can contact the WFPD at 940-761-7792 or if you want to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 322-9888.