Police Service in Thornbury Township is provided by The Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department Via an Inter-Municipal Agreement
Brenda Bernot, Chief of Police
CRAIG’S LIST SCAM:
Victim lists an item for sale on Craig’s List. Version #1: After the victim provides his/her home address, the person travels to the address and steals while the owner is at work (large items). Version #2: The victim receives a check for the item but the amount is higher than the agreeable upon sale price. The victim is then instructed to cash the check, keep the sale price of the item, and then mail a check for the difference to a third party (for handling, shipping, etc.). The victim does not find out for approximately 7-10 days that the check was a fraud. As a result, the victim loses the value of the item and the check amount that they mail to the third party.
Victim is contacted via email or telephone call by a subject claiming to be a friend or relative. Most frequently, it is a person claiming to be the grandchild of the victim (thus the name “Grandparent Scam”). The caller claims that they have an emergency and asks the victim to send money immediately. Frequently the caller will claim that they have been involved in a serious crash or have been arrested and need money to keep from being taken to jail. Most recently, the caller has been claiming to be a police officer who has arrested the friend/relative and will send them to jail unless the victim posts bail. Once again, the victim is requested to go the nearest store (Walmart, Rite Aid) and purchase Green Dot Money Cards. When the cards are purchased, the person is requested to provide the numbers from the backs of the cards (enabling them to retrieve the money electronically).
These phone scams include many variations, ranging from instances from where callers say the victims owe money or are entitled to a huge refund. Some calls can threaten arrest and threaten a driver’s license revocation. Sometimes these calls are paired with follow-up calls from people saying they are from the local police department or the state motor vehicle department.
Characteristics of these scams can include:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
- Scammers “spoof” or imitate the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
After threatening victims with jail time or a driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim. In another variation, one sophisticated phone scam has targeted taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do: If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.