Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Crime

February 2, 2013

SCAMS GOING GLOBAL

Local targets get hit from all sides of map

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — There are a wide variety of scams. With new technology, criminals are finding ingenious ways to get to know you and your numbers.

• Pay a waiter with a credit card and the waiter, while running your card to pay the bill, may have his own personal scanner to get all your information. That information is valuable.

• There’s a device that can scan your card while it’s in your wallet, in your pocket, according to Eggert.

• Go to the ATM for a withdrawal, but beware of an extra topping that appears to be part of machine. A scanner may have been placed on the ATM to read your pin numbers. That’s popular in Toronto.

• Some information may be garnered from receipts tossed in garbage cans placed near the ATM.

• Scammers may use your information to order on line and have the items shipped to a vacant apartment. The crooks pick up the package at the door.

“People are not helpless if you prepare for it,” Eggert  said. “If you’re careful, you have a good chance of not being bitten. As soon as you let your guard down than you can become a victim very quickly.” 

Check your statements. If there’s a suspicious $5 charge, it may be a test to see if it works. The next one might be $500.

If you get a call congratulating you because you’ve won a cruise, be careful. The caller may just want your social security number and the date of birth.

”If it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” Eggert repeated. “If you’ve won the sweepstakes in Nigeria, they don’t have a sweepstakes in Nigeria. If somebody left you $10,000 in his will, that’s probably not a real will. If somebody’s going to send you $1 million, but you’ve got to send a check, it’s a fraud.”

Finding and prosecuting the scam artists is difficult.

Pursuing a case in Colorado is cost prohibitive.

”For us to go to Nigeria, or the Ukraine or anywhere else, it’s physically impossible,” Eggert said. 

Eggert and Podgers don’t sign the back of their credit cards. The cops want the clerk to check identification. 

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