Casper Police warns residents about online scams
CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Online scams, particularly malware and investment scams, are on the rise. So how can you avoid being a victim?
Casper Police detectives are working on at least two scamming cases right now. Local residents who fell prey to suspects looking to take advantage. So what are some red flags to look out for? And what recourse do victims have, if any?
One scam growing in popularity among white collar criminals is the malware scam. Though scammers sometimes attack their victims via smart phone... computers are the preferred method, as Casper Police Detective Keri Patrick explains.
“So with these scams what they do is essentially lock your computer up. And then it will come up with a big text message that says, ‘Hey, your computer’s infected. Please call this number.’ People call the phone number, and unfortunately send them a lot of money.”
Another scam is the investment scam. Con artists deceiving victims to deposit money into stock or crypto that doesn’t exist.
Detective Patrick says, “Once they’re able to kind of show someone, ‘Hey, you can see my websites here. I can get you started in investing.’ Then it’s easier to get people to believe that they’re a legitimate crypto currency broker, when they’re really not.”
So just how widespread are these scams becoming?
“(Sigh) The scams... The number of victims varies. But I would say several thousand a year, nationwide. And the amount of money is an exorbitant amount of money.”
Patrick says once the fraudulent funds are turned into dirty money, it’s hard to trace and even harder to get back.
“The majority of the time, it’s going to end up in a bank account in Nigeria, or in India, or Thailand. And then it’s not... We’re not going to be able to get those funds back for them.”
Detective Patrick also says if you think you’ve been the victim of an online scam, don’t hesitate to reach out to police.
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