Scams are on the rise

Feb 13, 2018

Tax season is usually a busy time for scammers - and this year is no exception.

Captain Tory Jacobson of the Moorhead Police Department says many calls have come in over the last couple of weeks to report scams and fraud. He says many people report tax scams, but they aren't the only ones going around. He says romance scams, grandparent scams and even scams about past due bills are being circulated.

"We all know that scams happen year round, but they take many different variations. We have people often that are providing personal information, so that their accounts can be verified on the telephone. Or we have people who have been misled to believe they have outstanding balances that need to be paid immediately through the purchase of various cards, that they can get the number, transfer the money - and then the money's gone."

Jacobson says he knows everyone is busy, but taking a moment to slow down and pay attention can help guard yourself from falling victim to one of these scams. He says they can be very manipulative and sophisticated.

"We want to be mindful and sure that if we have a financial responsibility that's outstanding, you know, we all want to try and make that right - but when someone solicits the contact with you by email or telephone call, that in itself should raise questions as far as the validity so we are asking that people take information, as far as who's supposed to be contacted and paid, and ultimately following up themselves."

Jacobson says if you feel you have been targeted by a scammer, you should report it to authorities - but he says oftentimes these cases are very difficult to resolve. He says scammers can target you from different communities, states or even countries - and once money is transferred it can be impossible to get back. He says if anyone asks you to pay them via gift card it's probably not legitimate.