KPD e-Press Release: K.P.D. Receiving Several Reports of Scams/Citizens Urged to Be Vigilant

Kingsport Police Department

Press Release

Incident Information

Type of Incident K.P.D. Receiving Several Reports of Scams/Citizens Urged to Be Vigilant
Date & Time of Release January 15, 2014

4:30 PM

Location of Incident City of Kingsport

General Narrative

K.P.D. has recently received several reports of scams and is urging citizens to be extra vigilant.

Over the past few days, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers have taken several reports where area residents have been targeted by scam artists.

The scams seem to originate with a phone call telling the intended victim that they have won a prize such as a vehicle, cash, etc. The caller then instructs the individual that in order to receive the prize, they will first need to pay a fee. The fee is often justified as a processing and handling fee, a registration fee, or paying the taxes on the winnings in advance. In several instances the target is asked to pay these fees by obtaining a prepaid Visa card or PayPal account and providing the scam artist with the account number and/or pin number.

Another scam that has been reported in the past involves a scam artist calling an intended victim and masquerading as a friend or relative. The caller claims to be stranded in need of travel or vehicle repair money or even incarcerated in jail and in need of bail money. The intended victim is instructed to send money immediately in the form of a wire transfer or other means.

Citizens are urged to be wary of these and other scams. Some general tips are provided below:

1) If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

2) Trusts your instincts. If it just doesn’t sound right, investigate thoroughly before committing or just hang up.

3) Never pay anything, especially in advance, for a prize you have allegedly won.

4) Be aware that it is highly unlikely (if not impossible) for you to win a contest or a sweepstakes that you never actually entered.

5) Never give out account numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth, pin numbers, or other personal information over the phone, unless you originated the call and you are certain with whom you are speaking and they are legitimate.

6) Don’t be pressured by someone saying you must act immediately or the offer will expire.

7) Never send cash by courier or mail.

8) If in doubt, contact a trusted financial institution or your local law enforcement agency.

For additional information, please contact:

P.I.O. Thomas M. Patton

K.P.D. Community Relations & Crime Prevention Unit

423-229-9433

ThomasMPatton@KingsportTN.gov

Releasing Officer P.I.O. Thomas M. Patton

K.P.D. Community Relations & Crime Prevention Unit

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