We want to pass along information this month to help residents heighten awareness of scams, and avoid becoming a victim of these prevalent and ever-changing crimes.
It's common knowledge scam artists often target the elderly, however, in our experience they target adults young and old.
The following are two scams we often hear about.
Someone receives a letter or email notifying them they've been selected to be a secret shopper and a "pay check" is included.
The instructions direct the receiver to cash the check and send a specific amount to a name and address included.
This scam comes in many forms, but the result is always the same.
If the receiver cashes the check, he or she will be notified by their bank within days that the check is fraudulent and the amount of the check will be deducted from their bank account.
Scams by phone can sometimes be threatening, telling the receiver there is a warrant on file for unpaid taxes, and they will be arrested, or deported, if they don't send a certain amount of money right away.
These callers are very aggressive, often threatening that the police are en route to the target's home.
To avoid this, the caller tells the target they must go to a nearby convenience store to purchase prepaid money cards to send as payment.
Scam artists are very persuasive and manipulative.
Be it by phone, letter, email or at your front door, don't ever give in to requests for your personal information, bank account or credit card info.
Never cash a check for services you haven't provided, or a lottery or contest you didn't enter.
The Protect & Serve column was submitted by the communication technicians at the Pickerington Police Department.