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Another round of phone/text scams affect local telephone numbers

Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch reports the Cass County Sheriff’s Office received several more reports during the weekend of phone calls and text message scams seeking information about credit and debit card numbers, specifically through the First National Bank of Walker as the financial institution attached to the targeted accounts.

The calls are showing a caller ID as coming from local telephone numbers with 218 area code.

Additionally, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office has seen an increase in prize type scams including lotteries, cruises and “free money.”

The sheriff’s office news release said the best rule to follow is if the lottery or winnings appear too good to be true, they probably are. As always, the sheriff’s department reported, when dealing with other potential scams it is important to follow these tips:

•Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of the country.

•Be leery if there is no memory of entering a lottery or contest.

•Be cautious if receiving a telephone call stating a lottery or a prize was won.

•Beware of lotteries that charge a fee prior to delivery of the prize.

•Be wary of demands to send additional money to be eligible for future winnings.

•It is a violation of federal law to play a foreign lottery via mail or phone.

Burch reminds residents of the following tips to avoid potential scam and fraud situation:

•Never give personal details to unknown people. If a call is received from someone who claims to be from an individual’s bank or any other organization, don’t give them personal details. Call the organization in question to check it is really them calling. Never click on a link or call a phone number in an email — use a phone directory to look up the correct number.

•Check bank statements — if there are any unusual transactions, contact the bank or credit card provider.

•Review credit reports — get a personal credit report from a credible agency. This allows individuals to check that no one is using their name to borrow money or run up debts. See credit reports and credit repair for tips on how to check a report.

•Carry only essential information — avoid taking important documents out of the home to minimize the chance of them being lost or stolen.

•Secure personal documents at home — store important documents in a fire and waterproof container or a safe deposit box in case the home is burgled or damaged.

•Destroy personal information — shred or cut up bills, statements and expired cards to prevent thieves from using them.

•Secure mail — secure the letter box with a lock and collect mail regularly. If moving to a new house, notify the post office to redirect mail. Mail sent to the wrong address could be used for identity theft.

•Protect mobile or smartphones — be wary when installing applications onto the phone. Scammers may send applications designed to download malicious software onto the phone and steal bank account details.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889