Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott wants to you be protected from scammers this 2019 Holiday Season. Scams come in many forms, but they tend to make similar promises and threats, or ask you to pay certain ways. It's never a good idea to give out sensitive information like your Social Security number to someone who calls you unexpectedly. Protect your information by educating yourself on the types of scams. Here's are some examples of popular scams:
How to recognize a phone scam.
- There is no prize - The caller might say you were "selected" for an offer or that you've won a lottery. But if you must pay to get the prize, it's not a prize.
- You won't be arrested - Scammers might pretend to be law enforcement or a federal agency. They might say you'll be arrested, fined, or deported if you don't pay taxes or some other debt right away. The goal is to scare you into paying. But real law enforcement and federal agencies won't call and threaten you.
- You don't need to decide now - Most legitimate businesses will give you time to think their offer over and get written information about it before asking you to commit.
- There's never a good reason to send cash or pay with a gift card - Scammers will often ask you to pay in a way that makes it hard for you to get your money back.
Imposter scams - A scammer pretends to be someone you trust.
Debt relief and credit repair scams - Scammers will offer to fix your credit if you pay their company a fee first. But you could end up losing your money and ruining your credit.
Business and investment scams - Callers might promise to help you start your own business.
Charity scams - Scammers like to pose as charities. Scams requesting donations for disaster relief efforts are especially common on the phone.
Extended car warranties - Scammers find out what kind of car you drive and when you bought it so they can urge you to buy overpriced or worthless service contracts.
"Free" trials - A caller might promise a free trial but then sign you up for products, sometimes lots of products, that you're billed for every month until you cancel.
Loan scams - Loan scams include advance fee loan scams; legitimate lenders don't make guarantees like that.
Prize and lottery scams - The caller will say you've won a prize, but then say you need to pay to get it.
Travel scams and timeshare scams - They promise low-cost vacations that can end up costing you a lot in hidden cost but only if you pay them first.
If you have any doubt about a phone call hang up and block the number. If you believe you have become a victim of a scam in Wagoner County you can contact 918-485-3124 to make a report.