Scam Alert

Scam Alert

Job Interview Scam

Job interview scams are the basis for this Coconut Creek Police Department Scam Alert. We recently got a call from a Coconut Creek woman who fell for one of these scams. She got a text from a guy she thought was a representative from a potential employer about a job interview. After the interview, he told her that she got the job, but that she needed to buy gift cards first and give him the numbers on the cards. He claimed that she needed to buy the gift cards for a piece of “equipment” needed for the job. Any time you are asked to buy gift cards, remember that it is a scam. She bought the cards and gave them to the man, only later learning that he was a phony. Remember that legitimate employers would never ask you to buy any items because they can buy those things themselves.

Tech Support Scam

The Tech Support Scam is the basis for this Coconut Creek Police Department Scam Alert. Recently a woman filed a report after a scammer claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support stole $1,000 from her bank account. She was at home when her desktop computer starting acting up. A pop-up warning, supposedly from Microsoft, came up on her computer. It told her to call a phone number and they would help her fix the computer. She granted the man who answered her call remote access to her computer. A little later the man called her back and asked her to pay $4,500 because he found more “viruses” on her computer. She became suspicious, but not in time to prevent the scammers from taking $1,000 out of her bank account. If something similar happens to you, keep in mind that it is a scam. If you think there may be an issue with your computer, you should update your security software and run a scan. If you need help, go to someone you trust. Real tech support representatives don’t magically call you right when your computer starts to malfunction. They rely on you to call them.

Customer Support Scam

“Never give up your credit card for any reason” is the scam prevention principle in this Coconut Creek Police Department Scam Alert. A new scam is going around where the bad guys show up at your door posing as delivery drivers, Here’s how it works:

  1. Though not wearing any logos from companies like Amazon or UPS, the crooks try to look the part by wearing a nice shirt and a nice pair of pants. They claim to be dropping off a package sent to your address.
  2. When you tell them you weren’t expecting anything, they reveal that the package contains alcohol, maybe one of your favorite brands, and they’ll just let you have it if you don’t mind paying the three or four dollar “delivery fee.”
  3. If you say “Sure! I’ll just pay with cash,” they will politely decline. They’ll tell you that you have to pay with a card “because it’s alcohol.”
  4. Once they swipe your credit card they’ve got everything they need. If you let them swipe your debit card, then they’ll have the pin number too after you’ve given it to them.

Keep in mind that if anything like this happens to you that it is a scam. They’re trying to steal your credit or bank card information. As always, if you see or hear anything suspicious, call 911.

Craigslist Real Estate Scam

The Craigslist Real Estate Scam is the basis for this Coconut Creek Police Department Scam Alert. A Coconut Creek woman recently told us that someone offered to buy her home after seeing it for sale on Craigslist. The only problem: she doesn’t want to sell her home and never had it listed. The is a common scam where the bad guys pick seemingly random addresses, find pictures of the residences on the Internet, and then put those pictures up on on-line marketplaces such as Craiglist to try and scam somebody into “buying” one. It may not hurt to google your address every now and then to see if some shady character might be trying to “sell” your home to some unsuspecting buyer. South Florida is a hot real estate market. If you see something fishy then do what this Creek woman did, call the police to report it, and report it to Craigslist so they will take it down.

Grandparents Scam

Someone scamming a near 80-year-old Coconut Creek woman out of nearly $10,000 is the basis for this Coconut Creek Police Department Scam Alert. It’s called the “Grandparents Scam.” The victim recently received a phone call from someone posing as her grandson. He told her that he had just been involved in a car crash and was about to be charged with DUI. He then provided her with a phone number to his “attorney” and told her to call him. The phony attorney said she needed to send $8,000 right then or else her grandson would be officially charged with DUI. To the victim’s credit, she tried to call her grandson and his father, her son, but they didn’t answer. The bad guys kept the pressure on until she sent the money. The so-called “attorney” was on the phone with her the whole time at an ATM coaching her on how to send it. It’s important to remember that the legal process doesn’t work this way. No attorney will demand a bunch of money in order to prevent a loved one from being charged with a crime. If you get a similar phone call, don’t do anything until you’ve talked to the family member who is supposedly in trouble. We’re confident you’ll find out it’s a scam.

Distraction Burglary Scam

A team of distraction burglars is the subject of this Coconut Creek Police Department Scam Alert. Recently an 88-year-old Coconut Creek man and his wife had cash stolen from inside their home by two men posing as Comcast workers. We believe the con artists were driving through the neighborhood when they noticed a Comcast worker’s truck in the victims’ driveway and decided to take advantage. As the real Comcast employee was working in the backyard, they came to the front door and asked to come inside to help “fix” the problem with the couple’s cable TV. While one of them kept the victims’ busy, the other went through the home and took some cash the couple had stored away in order to pay their landscapers. Both suspects were described as white men. One was around 5’6”. The other was around 6’0”. The pair may be part of a team of con artists committing similar distraction burglaries in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

If you’re expecting a worker like someone from your cable company to come into your home:

  • Make sure they have the proper identification, such as a work tag, and are driving a marked vehicle.
  • Most companies will send only one worker to fulfill your service request, so be wary if someone else shows up claiming to represent the company or crew after the worker is already there.
  • If there is no reason for a worker to come into your home, such as a landscaper, don’t let them in.

Online Puppy Scam

The Online Puppy Scam is the basis for this Coconut Creek Police Department Scam Alert. Recently a Coconut Creek man tried to buy two puppies off a website which said it was based out of Michigan. The man agreed to send the seller several thousand dollars through a cash app. Once the so-called “seller” had the money, all communication between the man and the seller ceased. The website on which the man found the puppies also vanished. This is why we recommend only doing transactions similar to this one face-to-face. You can use our lobby here at the Police Department [4800 West Copans Road] for safe transactions as well [masks and social distancing required]. Please make sure and research the seller to make sure he or she is reputable. If the seller wants you to send money through a cash app before you have the item that may be a red flag that it’s a scam. Also, if you are interested in becoming a pet owner, don’t forget about any of our local shelters. We’re sure you can find a match there that will be great for you or your family!

OfferUp App Scam

Never give up your money until you have what you are buying in hand is the basis for this Coconut Creek Police Department Scam Alert. Recently a Creek resident was trying to buy a video gaming console on the on-line marketplace app, OfferUp. He asked to meet the seller face-to-face in a public place, which is always a good idea. As the seller texted that she was on the way, she asked the victim to go ahead and send the money before she got there, claiming that she was afraid that the victim was the one who was going to scam her. Using the on-line banking app, Zelle, the victim sent her the money. She never showed up and the victim knew he got scammed. It’s an important lesson in the “never send money up front” principle of scam prevention. Remember that our lobby here at the police department [4800 West Copans Road] is available 24-7 to conduct face-to-face transactions.

Social Security Phone Scam

The Social Security Phone Scam is the subject of this Coconut Creek Police Department Scam Alert. Over the past few weeks, at least two people have fallen for this scam. In both cases, someone claiming to be from the IRS [Internal Revenue Service] called the victims. The phony IRS agent told them their social security numbers were comprised, and they needed to go to the store and buy gift cards for him or else they would be arrested. Both victims bought the gift cards and gave the numbers and pin numbers on them to the scam artist. Remember that the IRS would never call you up out of the blue and threaten to arrest you. Any time someone asks you to buy gift cards for any reason, remember that’s a huge red flag that it’s a scam.

Too Good To Be True Scam

A “Too Good To Be True Scam” is the basis for this Coconut Creek Police Department Scam Alert. Recently a resident here in Coconut Creek got a phone call from someone claiming he could help her recover money she was owed from three or four years ago. While the victim admitted she couldn’t remember the occasion involving the supposed “money owed,” she thought it was a blessing since she’s on a fixed income and could use the extra money. The scam artist then talked the victim into giving him remote access to her computer. Next, the scammer basically intimidated the victim into buying gift cards and giving him the numbers by threatening to withdraw the money from her bank account using her computer. The victim bought the gift cards and is now out several thousand dollars. The two lessons here are that any time a stranger calls you up out of the blue, and offers to help you get obtain money you didn’t expect to have, it’s “too good to be true” and therefore a scam. You should also always remember that any time you’re asked to buy gifts cards, that’s also a certain sign of a scam. If you get any phone calls similar to the one outlined above, just hang up.

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