Crime & Courts

Top 4 scams in Sedgwick County for week of Aug. 14

This May 16, 2012, file photo shows a Facebook logo displayed on the screen of an iPad in New York.
This May 16, 2012, file photo shows a Facebook logo displayed on the screen of an iPad in New York. AP

Less scams were reported in the Wichita area compared to other weeks, but a new Facebook scam and Microsoft scam popped up on the radar.

The Sedgwick County Consumer Protection Division was contacted 23 times between Aug. 6 and Aug. 12, down from the usual range of 40 to 50 calls. Here’s a list of the scams going around the area and the number of people who reported them.

6 — Internal Revenue Service scam: A scammer calls and claims the individual owes the IRS money.

Advice: IRS typically does not contact consumers by telephone.

3 — Facebook scam: Two consumers were contacted via Facebook with a notification stating “you’ve been chosen for a cash prize.” One other consumer reported being contacted by someone posing as a family member on Facebook and asked the consumer for money.

Advice: Be suspicious of people who ask for money over the Internet or on the phone and verify the identity of any friends or family who ask for money. For cash prizes, don’t pay money to get money.

1 — Past magazine debt scam: A scammer called the consumer and claimed they needed to pay for a past due magazine subscription.

Advice: Call the company directly using the number listed on your subscription.

1 — Microsoft scam: A scammer called claiming they worked for Microsoft and needed access to the consumer’s computer.

Advice: Do not give out personal information or access to your computer unless you initiated the call or interaction.

If you think you might be the victim of a scam, call the Consumer Protection Division at 316-660-3653.

Reach Gabriella Dunn at 316-268-6400 or gdunn@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @gabriella_dunn.

Advice to avoid these scams:

▪ The government does not typically contact consumers by phone

▪ Be suspicious of every call because phone numbers can be manipulated to appear as if they’re local

▪ Verify the identity of any friends or family who ask for money.

▪ For cash prizes, don’t pay money to get money

▪ If someone calls wanting payment, call the debt collector back using the phone number listed on your bill, or listed on an official site for governmental services

▪ Never give out personal information or access to your computer unless you initiated the call or interaction

Source: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Sedgwick County Consumer Protection Division

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