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What do the above statements have in common? They are all FAKE, PHONY, and FRAUDULENT.
All across cities and towns in the United States, people have been receiving letters in the mail and telephone calls containing some of the above statements and information. The letter may be sent by someone with a familiar name or address. The telephone number calling may appear to be from your area or area code and first three digits of your phone number.
You read the letter or listen to the person on the other end of the phone and become scared and frightened. Out of desperation, you follow the provided instructions and proceed to send large amounts of cash or store gift cards to a Post Office Box in another state, or make a bank transfer from your bank account to the bank account of the requester. You may even accept and place a check written for a large amount of money into your bank account then write a check for a smaller amount of money and send it to the requester, hoping to keep the remaining balance.
Unfortunately, in all of the above situations, you have become the victim of FRAUD, you have LOST YOUR MONEY, and chances are that YOU WILL NEVER SEE YOUR MONEY AGAIN.
The reality is this:
Here are a few things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of the above:
People who commit the above fraudulent activities are playing off your emotions, tugging at your heartstrings, and trying to get you so overwhelmed with confusion and frustration that you eventually succumb to their requests and give them your money.
Many times these people are operating in foreign countries and have middle-men working in the United States who forward any monies sent.
Investigating these crimes is difficult and next to impossible, and you have a very low chance of seeing your money again. However, you have a very high chance of becoming a victim of identity theft by releasing all of your personal identifying information, including your social security number, driver’s license number, and date of birth.
Despite what may be said to you in a letter or over the telephone, these activities are all FRAUDULENT, and you will become a VICTIM and will LOSE any amount of MONEY and PERSONAL INFORMATION you provide.
And finally, if you receive a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the Atherton Police Department, and you don’t believe them, ask for their call back number, do not provide any information, and hang up the telephone. Then call the Atherton Police Department at 650-688-6500 to confirm the telephone call you received was real.
If you have any questions or need any further information, please contact the Atherton Police Department at 650-688-6500.
Thank you for taking the time to read the above.