BEWARE OF FRAUDULENT CALLS
Beware of fraudulent calls at this time of year and all year.
The caller ID is sometimes a familiar-seeming number/name or area code - These are "spoof" caller IDs.
LOVED ONE IN ACCIDENT, KIDNAPPED OR IN JAIL
Recently calls have been on the rise where the caller claims to say that your loved one has been in an accident or is being held hostage or arrested by the police, and you are to withdraw money from the bank and wire the money to the caller or send them gift cards. THIS IS A SCAM! The caller will try and keep you on the phone so that you cannot verify if your loved one is really safe. HANG UP AND CALL THE POLICE. Victims have been scammed out of thousands of dollars.
A call comes in claiming to be an IRS agent demanding money, threatening arrest or even deportation. This is a common scam which increases during tax season.
UNSOLICITED TECH SUPPORT CALL
Unsolicited 'tech support' personnel who call you up to inform you of computer problems - HANG UP immediately. What ever you do DO NOT GIVE SOMEONE ACCESS TO YOUR COMPUTER.
Microsoft reported in 2015 that an estimated 3.3 million people (including many seniors among that number) were targeted by tech-support con artists. The total cost to these victims was $1.5 billion.
Typically, someone will contact you via phone to inform you that you have a virus on your computer, before providing instruction to ultimately acquire remote control of your computer and may actually place a virus on your computer before offering to sell a solution to fix it. Simply hang up immediately. Do not worry about being rude - they are trying to steal from you.
Usually, this is a phone call from an automated dialer asking for you to provide your credit card number to accept a free cruise or vacation.
Praying on the devastation of others - after hurricanes or other disasters:
To be safe, only give money to reputable charities you’ve heard of and that are proven trustworthy. You can also verify a charity by checking them out with a service like the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance or Charity Navigator.
There are also people who pose as FEMA inspectors and charge for inspections. FEMA never charges for housing inspections in order to receive federal aid for damages.
BSO SaferWatch App
BSO encourages you if you see something, send something through the SaferWatch App.
The app allows users to report non-emergencies and suspicious activity, and submit anonymous tips directly to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Tipsters who wish to be contacted will be informed that their information was received. The app also allows users to provide information anonymously. Students, parents and teachers also have the ability to subscribe to a school’s location and receive alerts.
The two-way communication system also allows users to receive emergency and non-emergency alerts in real time.
Download the free app at BrowardAlerts.com.