Attala County Sheriffs Office Issues Scam and Cybercrime Warning

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The Attala County Sheriff’s Office issued the following press release in order to raise awareness and keep the public vigilant when it comes to scams and cybercrime:

Attala County Sheriff’s Office wants to inform our citizens of the most common scams reported to our office.

  • We are from the government. A scammer calls pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Social Security Administration, or Medicare. They may say the person has unpaid taxes and threaten arrest or that services may be cut off if they don’t pay some sum of money. They may not ask for money but will ask for personal information that can then be used to commit identity theft.
  • Sweepstakes Scam.  Scammers send a social media message or call saying you have won a lottery or prize of some kind. If you want to claim your winnings you must send some money, cash, or gift cards up front to cover supposed taxes and processing fees. If the money is paid, scammers will then ask for more money.
  • Technical Support Scams. A pop-up message or blank screen usually appears on a computer or phone, telling the user their device is damaged and needs fixing. When they call the support number for help, the scammer may either request remote access to the person’s computer/ phone and/or demand they pay a fee to have it repaired.
  • Love Online. As more people turn to online dating, con artists are seizing the opportunity. Romance scammers create elaborate fake profiles, often on social media, and exploit loneliness to get money. They may request money to pay for medical emergencies, child emergencies and, most commonly, travel expenses to come visit. The scams are so elaborate and convincing that it is difficult to convince the victim that they are a victim.
  • IF ANYONE asks you to provide payment by purchasing a gift card and providing the number on it or sending a picture of it, it is guaranteed that this is a scam. There is no way of tracing how these cards are used or where.

If you suspect some contact may be a scam, do not respond. A reputable business will provide you with a means of contacting them to verify their identity.

The Attala County Sheriff’s Office can offer you some assistance if you suspect that you or someone you know is the victim of cybercrime at (662) 289-5556. It is imperative that steps be taken before providing personal information or arranging any payments. Once you have provided information or made a payment there is very little that can be done to reverse the damage.

The Mississippi Attorney General has a cybercrime unit: 601.359.3680 or attorneygenerallynnfitch.com

To make a report with the Federal Trade Commission: reportfraud.ftc.gov

To make a report to the FBI Internet Crime Compliant Center (IC3): www.ic3.gov

For the elderly, contact the Eldercare Locator, a government sponsored national resource line at: 1-800-677-1116 or eldercare.acl.gov. This resource is for all eldercare issues, not just cybercrime.

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