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Tustin, CA Police Department
Tuesday September 20th, 2016 :: 10:24 a.m. PDT


Scam Alert – Scams On The Rise Again

<p><strong><u>The Edison Scam</u></strong> - Imposters call business owners or residents saying they are past due on their electricity bill and must pay immediately using a prepaid cash card, such as &ldquo;green dot.&rdquo;&nbsp; The reason the caller wants payment in the form of prepaid credit cards is because of the ease of transferring money &ndash; all they need is the card number and no ID is required upon use.&nbsp;</p>

<p><strong><u>The IRS Back Tax Scam</u></strong> - The caller identifies themselves as an IRS representative and leaves a message insisting, in a threatening manner, that the victim call back and this is a time sensitive matter. The victim returns the call and is accused of tax evasion and money laundering.&nbsp; The victim is advised that this can be settled &ldquo;out of court&rdquo; on the telephone as they speak, and they come up with a fee, that must be wire transferred &ndash; using the victim&rsquo;s bank account.&nbsp;In some instances the caller also requires the payment be made in the form of a prepaid credit card, again such as &ldquo;green dot.&rdquo;&nbsp; The caller may even threaten to have the local Law Enforcement Agency come out and arrest the victim.</p>

<p><strong><u>The Attorney General Office Scam (similar to the IRS Scam)</u></strong> &ndash; The caller leaves a message instructing the victim to call back regarding a bank fraud in which the victim is the suspect.&nbsp; The victim is told to pay restitution in the form of green dot money pack or the police would be sent out to arrest the victim.</p>

<p><strong><u>**Important:</u></strong> In the event someone shows up at your door claiming to be an Officer and wanting payment, call your local Law Enforcement Agency or the Agency they claim to represent and verify they are in fact an Officer.&nbsp;</p>

<p><strong><u>The Cryptolocker Ransomware Scam </u></strong>&ndash; A CryptoLocker attack may come from various sources; one such is disguised as a legitimate email attachment. When the victim downloads the attachment a virus then encrypts files on the victim&rsquo;s computer. A display message appears offering to decrypt the data if a payment (through either &ldquo;Bitcoin&rdquo; or via &ldquo;green dot&rdquo;) is made by a stated deadline.</p>

<p><strong><u>The Free Medical Alert System Scam (targets older adults primarily)</u></strong> - These are Robocall messages telling the victim that they will be provided a free medical alert system, or that someone purchased this as&nbsp;a gift for them.&nbsp; Upon callback, they learn they will have to pay a fee for activation.&nbsp;</p>


<li>Never give out personal information to anyone over the phone.</li>
<li>Any call that demands immediate payment or payment by way of a gift card, prepaid card, money pak or money gram should be considered suspicious.</li>
<li>Customers suspecting a fraudulent call should ask for the caller&rsquo;s name, department, and business phone number.&nbsp; If the caller refuses, terminate the call.</li>
<li>Verify your account balance by calling the respective company directly.</li>
<li><strong><em>Report your experience to the FTC </em></strong><strong><em>online at</em></strong><strong><em> </em></strong><strong><em>or call 1-877-FTC-HELP</em></strong><em>.</em></li>


<p><br />
<strong>Emergency or Crime in Progress: 9-1-1<br />
Dispatch (For a Report or suspicious activity): (714) 573-3225</strong></p>

Tustin, CA Police Department
300 Centennial Way
Tustin, CA 92780

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 714-573-3200

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