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Sheriff: Scammers More Creative, Be Vigilant
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH - The McCracken County Sheriff has recently learned of two different scam attempts related to services many people use, which means scammers are becoming more creative.

One citizen got a call from 402-502-7388 and an automated system claimed to be from Amazon, saying the person's account was going to be charged $39.99. After choosing to speak to a representative, the potential victim was asked by the caller to access Amazon by using the Windows search function. When the person told the caller they would call Amazon directly, the caller hung up. Amazon confirmed that they would email a customer instead of calling. 

Another citizen got an automated call claiming to be from iCloud services, with the caller ID showing "Apple Main." The person was told their iCloud account had been compromised and chose an option to speak to a representative, who said their account had been accessed in three other states. It was suggested that the caller walk the potential victim through some changes on their phone, but the person then asked if the client had an Apple or Android phone, which led the citizen to recognize a scam. The person told the Sheriff's Department that a call to Apple confirmed that they would make initial contact by email, not by phone. 

Sheriff Matt Carter said it may sound redundant, but citizens need to stay vigilant so they can recognize scams as callers become more creative.
Carter said, "This is what they do for a living. This is how they put food on their table, so to speak, so their constant full-time job remains to become as creative as possible and to become as convincing as possible." 

He said he's not hearing as many stories of people falling victim to the older scams, such as fake IRS calls or avoiding jail by paying a fine with gift cards, so this means the criminals must get more creative.

Carter said folks should, "err on the side of caution," when they get a call, and contact companies personally to verify if there is a problem. He said personal interaction with trusted people is always the best bet.

Although companies may have a person's mobile phone number for third-party verification, most of them will use email to contact their customers about a potential problem. 

Carter said he hasn't seen legitimate companies that would conduct business in the same way that scammers do, but it can sometimes be difficult to recognize the difference. 

Published 03:06 PM, Tuesday Nov. 12, 2019
Updated 06:33 PM, Wednesday Nov. 13, 2019

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