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When it comes to law enforcement, scams are a regular part of the landscape but recently there has been an increase in reported scams here in the City of Apache Junction.
Scammers are continually working to come up with new creative ways to separate you from your money.
Take a look at some of the recent scams that are popping up around Apache Junction:
A scammer contacts a potential victim claiming to represent the U.S. Marshals Service or another law-enforcement entity. The scammer then tells the victim that his/her vehicle has been located in another state with illegal contraband inside the vehicle. The scammer then demands payment for fines and threatens to have the victim arrested if he/she doesn’t pay.
Anyone who has recently sold a vehicle could be vulnerable to this scam. When you sell a vehicle you should always notify Motor Vehicle Division. This protects you from any liability if the vehicle is involved in an accident or used in a crime. Reporting the sale is not just a good idea, it’s the law.
Scammers are banking on the fact that many people who sell their vehicles don’t report it. A simple Internet search can give a scammer all the information they need to convince you that you are liable for the vehicle that you use to own.
Protect yourself from this scam by reporting the sale of any vehicle to MVD. You can submit a notice of sale online at servicearizona.com/soldNotice/. If you have sold a vehicle and failed to report it to MVD you can rest assured that even if that vehicle was involved in an accident or was used in a crime, no law enforcement agency is going to be demanding any sort of payment from you.
The scammer contacts the victim --- usually a senior citizen --- and tells them they are following up on a doctor’s appointment. The scammer then tells the victim that he/she has a disease.
The Scammer then tries to scare the victim into scheduling appointments and requests advance payment.
The scammer will also try to get personal information from the victim like his/her Medicare number.
In this scenario the scammer is simply hoping that his potential victim has recently been to the doctor. He can use fear of a catastrophic illness to manipulate his victim into parting with their money or personal information.
You can protect yourself from this scam by never giving out personal information over the phone. Any healthcare provider that you have done business with already has your information. Never pay anything over the phone without knowing for sure who you are talking to. Tell the person requesting payment that you will call them back then hang up and call your doctor’s office and verify that you are receiving accurate information.
A scammer contacts a potential victim posing as an employee of Salt River Project. The Scammer then tells the victim to travel to a different location where he/she will be provided with a number in order to wire funds to SRP. The scammer threatens to shut off the victim’s power if he/she does not comply.
Do not be fooled by this scam. SRP sends out notices to its customers electronically and through the mail. They do not ever request or except wire transfers as a method of payment.
If you receive a call from someone representing a utility company and they are requesting payment, hang up. Simply look up the number to the utility company call them back. This way you can be sure that you are dealing with your utility provider.
Scammers are very creative and they can be very persuasive too. The scams may change but they all have one thing in common --- scammers will always try manipulating your emotions to get to your hard earned cash.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of phone call or an email that you’re just not sure about, slow down. Don’t make any quick decisions when it comes to your money. Call a trusted friend or family member and run the scenario by them.
Don’t hesitate to call the Apache Junction Police Department at 480-982-8260 if you think you someone is trying to scam you.
Do not become a victim. Please protect yourself.
You can learn about these and other scams by visiting the federal trade commission website at consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts.