9OYS Consumer Watch
Police warn about fraudulent phone scams
Web Producer: Ina Ronquillo
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tucson Police Fraud, Economic Crimes Unit would like to alert the public of types of fraudulent schemes currently being used to defraud victims of money.
The schemes can involve any of the following scenarios:
- A person posing as a relative (son, daughter, grandchild) contacts a citizen claiming to be involved in an accident, usually in a foreign country. Using the Internet, the caller may be able to obtain the names of a citizens relatives and identify themselves as that specific person.
- A citizen is contacted and told they have won the lottery, a trip, a car or are receiving an inheritance from a recently deceased relative. However, to claim the prize or the money, the citizen must send money to pay for the taxes to release the funds.
- A caller claiming to be an employee of Tucson Electric Power (TEP) contacts a customer and says that electric service is in danger of being shut off because of unpaid bills. In most cases, the caller instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid money card and then call a specific number to avoid loss of service.
- A person answers an ad on a public website such as Craigslist or Ebay for a job opportunity or to purchase or sell an item.
A common type of scam involves an ad for employment. This same type of scam is used when people buy items online as well. In another scam, a citizen answers an ad online for a job and is hired by a business from out of state.
When using programs such as Craigslist, Ebay or any related type of website on the Internet, ask questions of the ads or inquiries to your ad. If something seems odd, then it probably is. Also, if it seems to good to be true, then it is.
When a citizen questions an ad or a response to their ad, research can be done online regarding the person or the business the citizen is dealing with to ensure the information is legitimate.