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ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

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Alerts and Consumer Information

RE-SHIPPING INTERNET FRAUD cases cause individuals and small businesses to re-ship their goods to certain countries that have weak legal systems. Not only are they stealing goods from these businesses, but they are also paying for them using stolen or fake credit cards. The scam works slightly different in each country it involves, due to the various laws and details regarding that country's re-shipping scam.

Watch out for official-looking e-mails that appear to come from package delivery services such as UPS, FedEx or even the U.S. Postal Service, consumer protection advocates warn. The e-mail says there was a problem delivering a package you either sent or were supposed to receive. It may even include a phony tracking number. The recipient is instructed to open an attachment and fill out an invoice, a claim form or a corrected mailing label.However, opening the attachment downloads malware or viri to your computer.

ATM SKIMMING DEVICES- Pay close attention the next time you go to the ATM Machine. There are new types of ways for crooks to steal your identity and your money. Take a look at this ATM Skimming

INTERNET SCAM - Beware of internet job offers where you are instructed to fill out a job application where they send you a check. You are instructed to deposit the check and send 10% of it to a foreign country. Once approved for a position they will ask you to deposite a fake check

E-MAIL SCAMS- The most familiar email scam is an e-mail offering lots of free money in exchange for helping someone. These type of emails often come from Nigeria. MS-NBC has an article on these type of emails and we strongly recommend you read up on this type of scam.  See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8171053/. Furthermore, you can check on the internet to see if a particular email is a known scam by checking a variety of sources, for example http://www.snopes.com/.

Bank ATM's Converted to Steal IDs of Bank Customers - Equipment is being used to capture your ATM card number and PIN.  Click here to find out more!

SCAM -
Three New Scams Reported By Social Security Administration. Click here to find out more!

PHONE SCAM- A citizen who received a phone call from a subject poses as a representative w/ Embarq. The person told the citizen that they received  their  check for payment to Embarq and that their signature on their check did not include their middle initial, and that Embarq will no longer accept checks without their middle initial. The person told them that they would need payment today if not, their phone would be cut off today. They asked them their credit card information and banking information in which they did not give them. Citizen contacted Embarq , Embarq stated this is a Scam!

CHURCH LARCENIES- The Orange County Sheriff’s Department wants to alert the citizens of Orange County of reports of church larcenies occurring in other counties of North Carolina.  Pitt and Alamance County has observed larceny of copper tubing, copper wire, air conditioning units and plumbing from churches.  The suspects removed the equipment during the day, as well as evenings.  Please be aware that the Orange County Sheriff’s Department will be increasing patrol of churches during the day, and at night. To date, we have not received any reports of this type of theft. If you notice any suspicious activity, including suspicious vehicles or persons, please contact 911 immediately.

Scam: North Carolina consumers are getting calls from scam artists pretending to be federal government officials calling to offer them money. For example, the caller pretends to be from the IRS and congratulates the consumer for paying their taxes on time which they say entitles the consumer to a $5,000 refund.   The scammer then asks the consumer for their bank account information claiming that they will deposit the money in their account.  These callers aren’t really with the federal government.  They are scammers looking to steal money from your bank account. 

TIP:  No legitimate government agency or company, not even your own bank, will call you on the phone and request your bank account information. Even if the caller knows a portion of your banking information, do not confirm this information and do not share any additional information.  If you have been a victim of such a scam, please contact Attorney General Roy Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division for assistance at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.

 This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.


Jury Scam
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued an alert regarding a jury scam in North Carolina. You could receive a phone call where the caller identifies himself as an officer of the court. He says you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest. You indicate you never received a notice. The caller offers to fix the problem and says he'll need to verify some personal information - your birth date, social security number, and maybe even a credit card number. If you receive such a call,  hang up the phone.  Court officers never ask for confidential information over the phone; they generally correspond with prospective jurors via mail. What makes this scam effective, is that the victim is caught off guard with the possibility of an unexpected threat of arrest.

Identity Theft - According to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper,  every year approximately 300,000 North Carolinians are victims of ID theft and fraud.  ID theft happens when a criminal steals personal information. This includes your Social Security number, date of birth, drivers license  number, or account numbers – and uses it to gain access to personal resources, like account information, apply for credit, or to avoid being charged with a crime.  To learn more about identity theft, and how to protect yourself, visit the NoScamNC website.

Check Fraud Scheme  - An Orange County Citizen reported a check was received in the mail, which was unexpected. The check was believed to be associated with a job inquiry, which this citizen had responded via www.craigslist.org. The person received communication with the alleged employers via mail asking the citizen to deposit the check in the bank and quickly withdraw the difference in the funds and mail/wire transfer the difference back to a certain person or location. The check looks real and it will show a deposit in the bank for a brief period of time. PLEASE contact the local authorities or your banking institution with regards to any financial instrument of concern.   

Scam - A person known as Michael Lloyd Smith while using the Business Name of "Mystery Shopping Assignments" is running a scam. He contacted his victim by e-mail asking her to be a mystery shopper for his business. She was to report on customer services for businesses in her area. Once she agreed, he sent her an e-mail with instructions of the assignment . He then sent, by UPS, five Money Grams Orders in the amount of $975.59 ea. to deposit in her personal account.  For her assignment she was instructed to withdraw from her account the next day a specified amount and go to a specified Western Union and purchase money orders. She was to send half to a western Union in Nigeria and half to another Western Union in Nigeria . She was to report her experience pertaining to customer service thru e-mail. The next day she tried to use her bank card and it was declined. She contacted her bank and was told that she was in the negative and that the checks she deposited was no good and they could not collect on them. The bank had to used money from her account to cover her withdraw for western union. The checks came to her in a UPS Express Envelope from Andrew Cole, 151 N Queen St , Lancaster Pa , 17603 . She has filed reports to her Bank Fraud Dept. and Western Union Fraud Dept. and with our office. Please use extreme caution when dealing with anything that sounds too good to be true.  This is an unfortunate situation where this person believed this was a legitimate business.  

PHONE SCAM REPORTED  - Orange County citizens have reported receiving phone calls from the phone number 866-877-9385 representing BB&T.  The caller is asking for the last four digits of the social security number,  and can also be a recording left on your answering machine. This is a scam.

PHONE SCAM REPORTED - An Orange County Citizen reported that a solicitor called his residence from a phone number with the (866) area code and claimed to be from a collection agency to collect a debt.  The caller told the citizen they owed a debt of $3,000.00 between 1990 and 1997, and if they paid $427.00 today, the debt would be cleared. The solicitor called from (866) 899-1502.  If you receive a call from area code 866, you are advised to hang up.