Jacksonville Police officials said there has been a recent increase in the number of residents reporting being victims of scams and with with holiday season upcoming, the department has some tips to avoid becoming a victim.
“We have see an increase this year from one report every few months to two and three a month now,” Police Chief Reece Daniel said.
Daniel said one of the more prevalent scams involves a person calling claiming to be a relative in a foreign country and has been involved in an accident, arrested, needs funding for a funeral or business or lost money to get back home to the States.
He said a good scam artist can gather information from social websites and public records to convince their relatives that they are who they claim to be and ask them to wire money for bail or a plane ticket home.
Daniel said the first step in guarding against scammers is to question the caller carefully without giving any more personal information for their use. He said if it is properly done, the scammer will usually hang up and move on.
“Should you continue to talk to them they will give you a telephone number that is supposed to be the U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy,” he said. “That number will be answered by an official-sounding person who is an accomplice and will confirm the bogus story in an attempt to get you to send money to the purported relative.”
Daniel said it never hurts to call relatives to confirm the story before sending cash, and local police departments and the FBI can track down the proper foreign offices to decipher if it a scam or legitimate.
“Prosecution of foreign criminals is next to impossible, so the best defense is to be suspicious of any request for you to wire money overseas or to Mexico,” Daniel said. “Not becoming a victim is the best course of action because the chances of a successful prosecution are slim and you will never get your money back.”
Capt. John Raffield with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department said they have not seen an increase in the number of scams reported, but said their most common scam involves claims that the victim has won the lottery.
He said the scammer will tell the victim they won millions of dollars but must send in money to cover the taxes on the winnings. He said the scammer may send them a check for $3,000 and instruct the victim to keep $1,000 and send the rest back through Western Union.
“They end up having you pay for the total amount on the check,” he said. “It shows good after five days in the bank, then three days later you get a call from the bank saying, 'hey that check wasn't any good,'” Raffield said.
Anyone with questions on common scams can contact the Jacksonville Police Department Crime Prevention Unit at 903-586-2236.
- Local News
County sets speed limit on CR 1102
Although a public hearing held Monday by Cherokee County Commissioners didn't attract anyone, the court unanimously voted to set the speed limit along County Road 1102 to 30 miles per hour, said County Judge Chris Davis.
Voting officials explain runoff election process
As Cherokee County residents prepare for a May 27 primary runoff between County Court-at-Law candidates Kelly Peacock and Janice Crosby Stone, election officials are reminding them of voter eligibility.
Country artist Jake Penrod to perform
The life and music of Country’s first superstar comes to life with Jake Penrod in Hank Williams Remembered at 3pm on Saturday, March 8 in the Nacogdoches County Civic Center.
Area women honored by mentoring program for roles in community
A group of adolescent girls honoring local women Thursday at an inaugural recognition program experienced Girl Power in it’s purest form, as honorees discussed how to create a successful future.
“Find something you love and go at it with passion, and don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do it. Ever,” said Janis Gowin.
Chase leads to aggravated robbery arrest
Sgt. Daniel Franklin of the Jacksonville Police Department commended officers Friday on their fast work of capturing an aggravated robbery suspect.
Bullard meningitis vaccines important for young adults
A meningitis vaccine clinic will be held March 20 at Bullard High School for local juniors and seniors needing the shot as part of college entrance requirements.
Commissioners set for Monday meeting
Cherokee County Commissioners will hold a public hearing 10 a.m. Monday on setting the speed limit to 30 miles per hour on County Road 1102, convene in regular session to consider approval of a related motion.
Shirts commemorating 30th annual Tomato Fest on sale now
The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Tomato Fest celebrating 30 years of fun so save the date - Saturday, June 14th in downtown Jacksonville.
Jacksonville City Council set to meet
The Jacksonville City Council will meet for its regular session at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, at the Norman Center.
Council members will hold a closed executive session at 5 p.m. to discuss economic development negotiations.
Cherokee County arrests: Feb. 25-March 10
The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.
- More Local News Headlines
- County sets speed limit on CR 1102