Play Scrooge to Scammers

The Los Alamitos Police Department shows you how to keep your dollars safe from con artists on the phone, at your door and online.

During this time of charitable giving, the Los Alamitos Police Department is offering tips to keep your money out of the pockets of scammers.

It's reminding you to:

  • Beware of tweets and emails from charities asking for donations.
  • Get specifics about how and where donations will be used.
  • Be skeptical of people who come to your door or call on the phone; they might not represent legitimate charities.
  • Realize that con artists know that the longer they keep you on the phone, the higher the chance of success; that they use official looking forms; that they are polite and convincing; that they pretend to share your values; and that they try to pressure you into making a decision.

Electronic Scams

The Police Department urges you not to be fooled by:

  • Legitimate-looking emails that get you to reveal personal and credit information for criminal purposes. 
  • Emails that purport to be from delivery services such as UPS or FedEx and request that you enter personal information to track your delivery.

Financial Scams

The department reminds you to:

  • Never give out Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers over the phone unless you initiate the call and are certain the source is legitimate.
  • Beware of 900 numbers. If you call one to claim a prize, you pay for the call.
  • Watch out for a common scam in which callers ask for money on behalf of one of your family members who can’t come to the phone because of an accident or arrest.
  • Don’t give out account information for electronic transfers.
  • Don't give money for job and housing “opportunities” until you have met the person or have seen the location.

And to protect yourself from identity theft, the department urges you to:

  • Shred mail containing personal information or credit card offers.
  • Use caution when providing personal information.
  • Be cautious when using your credit card on the Internet. 
Michael Dwells December 16, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Thanks for sharing. I've read similar scams reported at http://callercenter.com and it's been a wonder to me WHY these callers are still able to call and try to scam people and then easily get away with it. I thought the authorities were already working with the telephone companies to locate the scammers faster.
Lil-Marty December 17, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Lil Marty and my twin brother, Artie experienced this the other night when went to the Grocery store. There was this guy wearing a red Santa hat ringing a bell with a red buckett standung in front of rhe doir. Artie says , "Hey Santa, where's your sleigh and reindeer". He started stuttering and ringing his bell asking for money. We knew right away this this guy was as fake Artie's toupee! Since when does Santa ask for money! Lil Marty Leisure World
john taylor December 17, 2012 at 04:20 AM
aka ARTIE SHORT..............marty... i thought we were gnna keep my fake hair a secret...tHere will be hell toO-pay!!!...that fake santa guy asked if i cood helP him & HIS reindeer by gettn him a yummi bottle of thunder bird.......he washed down his cookies w-it ..& happily stumbled off!!!!!


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