It’s No-Scam November – How To Protect Yourself And Loved Ones From Fraud
No-Scam November is underway for a second year.
The Worcester County Vulnerable Adult Task force is working with several local law enforcement agencies as well as with stores in the area, where gift card scams can possibly be interrupted. According to State’s Attorney Kris Heiser, victims are often targeted by phone or email by scammers who claim there is an emergency and that the victim must resolve it by buying gift cards. The scammer typically requests the code on the back of the gift card so it can be used online.
Schemes often indicate that there is a tax matter, or claim that a family member has been arrested and needs bail money. Sometimes, winnings are promised but in order to collect they must buy the equivalent of gift cards.
Maryland State Police, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Ocean Pines Police Department this month are conducting community outreach efforts and providing local businesses with free signage supplied by the State’s Attorney’s office that can be placed with a gift card display case. This year, the signs include a QR code that links consumers to more information about scams.
The State’s Attorney’s Office has also added a certified fraud examiner, which benefits the investigative team’s efforts to combat the growing problem of elder abuse and fraud. The examiner is a professor at Salisbury University who is also an attorney.
Businesses that wish to participate in No-Scam November may request a free gift-card sign from the Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack, the Ocean Pines Police Department or the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.
Any case of suspected elder abuse, including gift card scams, should be reported to local law enforcement.