Police Warn Public Of Social Media, Phone Scams

The Jamestown Police Department is advising the public to be mindful of fraudulent social media and IRS phone scams, a number of which have been reported in the past week.

Police said several reports involve messages on Facebook or other social media and e-mail that inform victims they are the winners of a lottery and that they need to text a number to claim their cash prize. Victims are then directed via text to send Western Union funds or to electronically transfer Apple iTunes cards or prepaid Visa cards totaling $550 or more to handle the processing fee for their lottery winnings. Once the transfer is complete, victims are never contacted again.

Additional reports involve phone scams, in which persons identifying themselves as IRS agents advise victims that they are being sued by the IRS and that they owe back payments for tax funds or face jail time. Victims are then directed to wire funds or electronically send prepaid cards for payments.

Police are advising the public to ignore such posts and calls and to never send money for these requests electronically. The public should also never give any personal information to anyone over the phone or electronically that they can’t confirm.

Police said scammers are typically from outside the United States and use methods that are difficult to trace.

Anyone who may have questions or concerns about these scams can contact their local law enforcement agency.