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SCAMS OCCURRING IN AND NEAR PINOLE

“You Owe the Cops Money” - Citizens have been receiving phone calls from a male adult introducing himself as a Police Lieutenant from the citizen’s city. He tells the citizens they have outstanding warrants for their arrest and will be arrested unless they wire money to him via Green Dot prepaid debit cards. These are debit cards you load with cash to use. The fake Lieutenant even leaves a number to call back on. This number will be answered by the fake Lieutenant, his accomplice, or by an answering machine with a fake message.

THIS IS A SCAM. Call your local police department immediately and report this crime. Call the police department the Lieutenant says he works for (Look up the number. Don’t use the number left by the fake Lieutenant). The Police will not ask you to pay your fines or arrest warrants over the phone with prepaid debit cards.


“You Owe the IRS Money” - A business owner received a phone call from an adult male who said he was an IRS Agent. The fake IRS Agent told the business owner he (the business owner) owed the IRS $8,000. The fake IRS Agent told the business owner he must pay immediately or would be shut down. He also told the business owner that the Department of Motor Vehicles would take his driver’s license away immediately if he did not pay. The business owner was also called by an adult woman who said she was from DMV. She threatened to immediately take his driver’s license if he did not pay the $8,000. The fake IRS Agent then called back. He directed the business owner to take $8,000 from his bank account and then go to Safeway and purchase $8,000 worth of prepaid debit cards to pay the debt. The PIN numbers on the cards can be used to make purchases and cash withdrawals.

THIS IS A SCAM. Call your local police department immediately and report this crime. Call the IRS (Look up the IRS number. Don’t just call back the number given to you by the caller) and ask them if they have tried to contact you. The IRS will not ask you to pay your fines over the phone with prepaid debit cards.


“You’ve Won” - A widowed female senior citizen had recently bought a new mattress. On the day it was to be delivered the citizen received a phone call from “John.” John said he was from the mattress store. He told her the good news that she had won $9,000 in a store drawing. When she said she had not entered, John told her the store had entered her name when she purchased her mattress. John even knew her mattress was being delivered that day. He said he would come by later with the $9,000, but she needed to pay a $400 processing fee to collect. The citizen felt something wasn’t right and called the company. The company had no knowledge of any drawing.

THIS IS A SCAM. Call your local police department immediately and report this crime. Call the company (Look up the number. Don’t use the number given to you by the caller). You don’t have to pay any processing fees to win a cash prize.


“Magazine Subscription Deal” - You already have a magazine subscription. A man calls saying he is from the magazine. He offers to extend your subscription for a high price. You decline and he drops the price several times. The last price he offers is so low that you now want to extend your subscription. The man will then ask for your credit card number.

THIS IS A SCAM. Call your local police department immediately and report this crime. Don’t give anyone your credit card number over the phone to anyone you don’t know and trust. Call the magazine (Look up the phone number. Don’t use the number given to you by the scammers) and report this.


“The Pigeon Drop” - A female senior citizen is contacted in a shopping center parking lot by a female con artist with an accent. The con artist is accompanied by another person posing as a trustworthy friend. The con artist tells the individual that she has found a large sum of money. The con artist shows the citizen a large stack of what appears to be $100 bills (usually a stack of blank paper). The con artist says she is new to the USA and unable to deposit the money in a bank. The con artist is willing to split it if the citizen will make a “good faith” payment by withdrawing funds from his/her bank account.

THIS IS A SCAM. Walk away. Call your local police department immediately and report this crime. Go into a nearby store or the bank and ask them to call the police.


“The Grandparent Scam” - A senior citizen receives a phone call from a crook posing as the citizen’s grandchild. The grandchild says he/she is in trouble and needs money wired or sent to him/her right away. The grandchild asks the senior citizen to please not tell anyone else in the family because of the embarrassment. This call may be followed by additional call from a fake lawyer or fake official urging the quick payment.

THIS IS A SCAM. Call your local police department immediately and report this crime. Call family members to corroborate the grandchild’s story.


“The Bank Needs to Confirm Your Account” – You receive an Email which appears to be from your bank. It may say that there has been fraudulent activity and requests your account number, password or PIN, and other information to confirm or update your account. It may also say that your account will be suspended or shut off if you don’t comply.

THIS IS A SCAM. Call your local police department immediately and report this crime. Call your bank (Look up the number. Don’t use the number listed on the fake Email) and ask them if they have requested this information from you.

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