The Indiana State Police is warning Hoosiers of a rise in scams.
Indiana State Police Bloomington District Troopers and Detectives have conducted investigations into a variety of online and phone scams that have surfaced in the last two to three months.
The method of operation for such scams includes individuals claiming to represent government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service or other local government agencies requesting some form of financial payment, individuals making claims they are affiliated with computer or software companies and demanding funds to scrub victims’ computers, tablets, or cell phones from viruses, individuals offering home improvements such as roof repair, remodeling, or driveway paving as well as individuals representing themselves as affiliated with charity organizations requesting donations; especially following a natural disaster or significant traumatic event.
The ISP wants Hoosiers to know that government agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Trade Commission, Law Enforcement, or the Office of the Inspector General, will not:
- Suspend your Social Security number.
- Threaten you with arrest or legal action because you don’t agree to pay money immediately.
- Claim to need personal information or payment to activate a cost-of-living adjustment or other benefit increase.
- Pressure you to take immediate action, including sharing personal information.
- Ask you to pay with gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or by mailing cash.
- Threaten to seize your bank account.
- Offer to move your money to a “protected” bank account.
- Demand secrecy and have you withdraw cash for pick-up.
- Or Direct message you on social media.
The ISP recommends that Hoosiers follow these recommendations from the Indiana Attorney General’s Office:
- Be on alert for communications with dangerous attachments or fraudulent links.
- Treat any emails or texts with subject lines or information with caution.
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
- Always verify the email addresses of those who send you emails.
- Use trusted, legitimate government websites to obtain up-to-date information.
- Don’t reveal personal or financial information via email or text message.
- And Verify the authenticity of a charity before donating money
ISP advises that if you have any doubts as to the inquiry being made that yous should check with family members and/or contact law enforcement.
Regarding identity theft, victims can seek assistance from the Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit. The unit provides investigative services to help in the prosecution of identity thieves. Hoosiers can find the Indiana Attorney General’s Office’s website at in.gov/attorneygeneral.