The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office says there has been an “uptick” of attempted e-mail and phone scams in the past 24 hours.
According to Undersheriff Jason Pless, on Thursday a potential victim contacted the 44th Circuit Court to confirm that the e-mail they received requesting money was valid but instead learned that it was a bogus request.
So-called “imposter scams” involve criminals impersonating a government official, a law enforcement officer, business, court or a trusted friend or family member to trick victims into sending money.
“A new form of the scam we’re seeing is con artists, posing as a collection entity for the Livingston County Courts or the Sheriff’s Office, send an e-mail to their intended fraud victim,” said Pless. “The e-mail advises the recipient they have a “fine” due to the court and must make an immediate payment.”
He said that within the email there are multiple areas where the person receiving the email can click a link and pay the “bogus” fine.
“Emails and telephone calls that you may receive can be very convincing and are geared to intimidate victims into paying bogus “fines” or emergency “bonds” or be threatened of arrest,” said Pless. “Law enforcement and the courts will never contact you via e-mail or telephone and ask for cash or gift card payments.”
He reminded residents to never click on strange “links” they receive via email and to use the following tips to avoid possible fraud and “phishing attacks”.
· Asking for Personal Information is a Red Flag! Few (if any) websites, banks or businesses will ask you for confidential personal information, or financial information, in an e-mail
· Check the sender’s e-mail address
· Watch for links and attachments
· Typos are a red flag
· When in doubt, contact the supposed e-mail sender
· Install security software, be smart about passwords and ALWAYS know who you are sending money to.