Local Law enforcement officials would like to warn the public of on-going frauds and scams that citizens of the eastern Upper Peninsula have experienced recently.
A citizen from Chippewa County, reported he received a phone call that his grandson had been involved in a traffic crash in the California area and was arrested. The caller identified himself as public defender for the grandson and was requesting large sum of money be wired to an address provided by the caller to represent the grandson. After the money was sent it was determined the phone number had been disconnected.
Several Chippewa County residents have reported their accounts compromised due to online transactions. Citizens are advised to be cautious when using online transactions.
If you ever suspect you are being scammed either by phone or mail, and feel compelled to act, contact law enforcement prior to acting or sending any money. Do not be persuaded to send money or give personal information regarding your bank accounts, credit cards, social security number, or any other identifying information.
Suspected fraudulent activity can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission online at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0208-phone-scams
If you have lost money to a phone scam or have information about the company or scammer who called you, report it to “ftc.gov/complaint”. If you did not lose money and just feel you should report a scam, you can use their streamlined reporting form at ”donotcall.gov”.
Remember to note the caller’s number that appears on your phone caller ID as well as any phone number/s you are given to call back. The FTC will analyze all complaint data and trends to identify illegal callers based on the calling patterns. Try to collect any names given, and numbers provided. The FTC can use this information to attempt to track down the scammers.
If you receive phone calls, emails, or some other form of communication in which the caller is claiming they are from the Treasury Department and who is offering COVID stimulus payments or some form of a grant in exchange for your personal information or they require you to purchase gift cards to obtain money, this is a scam. You should contact law enforcement or contact the FBI at www.ic3.gov.