There has been an uptick on financial crimes committed against residents of Boulder City, Chief Timothy Shea noted. “The victim said the phone number matched the bank’s customer service phone number, so it seemed valid,” said Boulder City Police Chief Tim Shea. “These con artists use spoofing technology to make a call appear to be from a legitimate source. The victim said the bank couldn’t stop the fraudulent wire transfer, leaving the victim with little recourse.”
Other scams commonly reported include calls from a “utility company” claiming it will shut off power without immediate payment, as well as claiming to be police threatening an arrest if they don’t buy gift cards to pay bail. Neither Boulder City Utilities Department nor the Police Department call residents and request bank account information or gift cards for payment. These are not new scams, but they are making rounds in Boulder City again. This comes on the heels of an unfortunate situation with another resident who gave cash to a person they met online and thought they could trust. In 2022 alone, Americans lost a record $8.8 billion in scams and financial schemes.
There are several ways to avoid these scams. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) offers information about the following scam scenarios.
- Check-washing and paper check payment schemes
- Cryptocurrency scams
- Driver License scams
- Investor schemes
- Imposter scams
- Request for help via text or phone scams
- Romance schemes
- Tech support scams
- Wrong number scams
You can read more about scams, generally, HERE. For more information about the most popular (and lucrative for scammers) in 2023 can be found HERE. The AARP has text and email newsletters to stay up-to-date on the latest ways criminals will try to separate you from your money.
If you receive a call asking for money, do not provide any personal information. “Hang up on the caller immediately, as these thieves will try to keep you on the phone in an effort to convince you to get gift cards,” said Chief Shea. “You can report it using the Boulder City Police Department online reporting form (found HERE). Unfortunately, finding these thieves can be difficult, especially as many are committing the crime from outside the US.”
You should also report any suspicious activity to your financial institution. Consider sharing this information with a loved one, colleague, neighbor, or friend. It’s important to stay vigilant to stay safe. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is! Don’t be a statistic.