The Asotin County Sheriff’s Office has recently received several reports of scams from Asotin County residents, who have had tens of thousands of dollars, stolen from them.
The scams have a similar theme, where the scammer uses pop-ups, advertisements, and/or fake emails on the victim’s computers to engage with them. The scammer convinces the victims of problems with their computer or bank account and manages to convince the victims to give them information that allows the scammer to control their computer.
The scammers provide links, names, and phone numbers that appear to be legitimate but are not. The victims are convinced to withdraw large sums of cash from their banks and instructed to lie to the bank about why. They also convince victims to buy thousands of dollars worth of gift cards from local stores and lie if questioned at the check-out stand. The scammers gain the trust of the victims and convince them not to tell anyone.
The scammers often tell the person there is an element of illegal activity associated with their account and they could be in trouble. The Asotin County Sheriff’s Office urges residents not to have unsolicited conversations online or by phone with persons claiming to be from Microsoft, their bank, the IRS, or other businesses.
The scammers have become increasingly efficient at convincing people to send them money. Legitimate businesses will not ask you to lie to your bank, your family, or your friends or ask you to buy gift cards or send cash anywhere.
Another scam reported to be happening is where residents are receiving phone calls saying they have an arrest warrant out of Asotin County, and the scammers have gone as far as to use local judges’ and officers’ names to convince people to send money, electronically. You will never be asked to send money for missing jury duty or due to an arrest warrant, and if someone is trying to convince you otherwise, it is a scam.
The scammers use a sense of urgency to get people to act. Legitimate businesses will not object to you taking time to check with law enforcement or local banking branches to verify who they are. When in doubt, always stop the engagement immediately.
For more information or to file a complaint with the FBI, regarding Internet scams, visit the following email address: https://www.ic3.gov
To make a police report contact the Asotin County Sheriff’s Office at 509-758-2331.