Sheriff's Office Warns of Increase In Scams
Bemidji, MN – The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office has received an increase in scam activity being reported in Beltrami County. The greatest influx in recent scam activity is the “Publishers Clearing House” and other sweepstake scams. You should never have to send money to receive prize money. If you receive a call of this nature, discontinue it immediately and do not provide your personal information. The Sheriff’s Office is well aware of these scams, but they are nearly impossible to investigate and determine where the call is originating from.
While spoofing and impersonation scams are not new, they can be convincing and are persistent with their attempts. Telephone scams where the phone number is manipulated to display a local phone number is known as spoofing. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to this scam as they more frequently have a traditional home phone and recognize a local number, trusting it is someone from the agency the number represents. This frequently happens to phone numbers of utility providers, law enforcement, schools and other recognizable numbers.
If you receive an unsolicited phone call, do not provide your personal information unless you can with certainty verify the validity of the call and are expecting a call. If you have any doubt, discontinue the call and contact the entity at a known and published phone number, not one that was provided by the caller. Elsewhere in Minnesota, and previously in Beltrami County, scammers are impersonating law enforcement and demanding bail money or you will be arrested. Law enforcement does not conduct calls of this nature and do not accept bail over the phone or by gift cards.
Be vigilant and protect your personal information. The longer you are on the phone with a scammer, the more information they are collecting.
Chief Deputy Jarrett Walton
Beltrami County Sheriff's Office
Posted: January 26, 2024
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