Telephone ‘prepayment’ scam circulating in Sweetwater County
by Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office
June 24, 2013
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING - The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office is warning citizens about a telephone scam making the rounds.
Colonel Rick Hawkins said that county residents are receiving calls informing them that they have been selected by the United States government to receive a $6,700 grant; "free money" that they need not pay back.
The only catch is that the intended victim must send in $290 in bogus "income taxes" before they can collect their grant.
Hawkins said the callers attempt to make their information sound credible by providing a callback telephone number and a "confirmation number" for the phony grant.
"It’s all a scam," said Hawkins. "Victims send in their $290, then never hear from these people again."
Officials said this particular con falls into the general category of the "prepayment scam." People are contacted and informed that they have been awarded a grant or won a special lottery, but need to pay their "taxes" or a "processing fee" up front before receiving their money.
"You will never be legitimately contacted through an unsolicited call and told you’ve been awarded a grant," Hawkins said. "The best rule to remember always is that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
The Sheriff’s Office recommends the FBI’s scam website at http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud as an excellent source of information on scams and con schemes.