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A spike in attempted scams is being reported in the Livingston County area. According to Sheriff Steve Cox, three have been repeatedly reported lately. Anyone who receives a call asking for personal, financial, or computer information should be wary. Anyone who is told they will receive a check, but must return the difference, is also advised this is the work of a scammer. Anyone who is targeted is encouraged to ignore the call and contact law enforcement to report the incident.

Press Release from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office

Over the last few days I have received several calls at work and home from concerned citizens that have been contacted by various con artists that are nothing more then scams.

Beware that most all of these scams originate from overseas and there is little or no chance of getting your money back or prosecution of the criminals as they are outside the United States.

Several people, including myself, have been receiving calls from a person with strong foreign accent telling people their computer has a problem and they are with Microsoft and wanting to help fix the problem. What these creeps are trying to do is get you to give them remote access to your computer. Once they have that access they also have access to any and all information in your computer, such as financial and personal records, banking information, email, and pictures.

Some have involved multiple ways of contacts telling citizens they have won all their bills paid for a specific amount of time. All the thieves want is your personal or financial information or a small payment to get this started. Of course the only person going to be paying your bills the next year is you and their ploy is completely bogus.

Other scammers have been contacting small businesses and individuals selling on line, in attempt to sell the belief they are mailing a check, money order, or other method of payment to them for purchase of items. When they have the payment has been on a forged document and requesting the small business owner or individual to return difference via electronic transfer. By the time the original document is identified as a forgery, the victim is already out the money they wired or transferred.

There are many other scams we have seen or heard going on through email and even the U.S. Mail. Our point here is to share the recent spike from scammers to our local residents in attempt to further educate you and help save some from becoming victims.

Be safe, be smart, and don’t become a victim.