Published DateBELMONT — Local police are sounding the alarms about an uptick in phone and mail scams and frauds in the area.
According to Lt. Richard Mann, the department has seen an increase in the number of reported lottery frauds. He said the caller or typically calls or mails the potential victim and tells them they are the winners of a widely known lottery.
Mann said to be especially wary of of demands to send money in order to claim the prize. He said the fraudster will often tell the victim that the money is needed "up front" so taxes or other processing fees can be paid.
He also said it is a violation of federal law to play a foreign lottery via phone or e-mail.
Other types of fraud include a request to reship an Internet purchase.
"Do not accept packages you didn't order," he said, saying that people should refuse delivery or contact the shipper without opening it.
As to credit card purchases, police say make sure the site you are using is secure and that you initiated the contact. He said to never send credit card information to an unsolicited e-mail or on the telephone unless you called them first.
He also warned people to reconcile their credit cards and bank statement regularly and to shred all paper accounts. People should also be aware of missed bills because they could indicate a secure account has been compromised.