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Ripon Police: Beware of costly scams

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POSTED June 20, 2013 12:52 a.m.

Last year, a 62-year-old Ripon resident was reportedly scammed out of $8,000 when she sent money to the Dominican Republic.

She received an official looking e-mail that included official looking symbol purportedly from the Food and Drug Administration.

Recently, the Ripon Police Department has received increasing reports of various scams being targeted at local residents. These scams often ask for money, or personal information in one form or another. Some criminals pose as your credit card company; while others pose as official government agencies. Some criminals tell victims they won the lottery. Other criminals advise victims they have received a grant for a large sum of money. One very popular scam involves criminals advising victims that their grandson, or granddaughter has been arrested, and they need to send money as soon as possible to bail them out of jail. Criminals often use the actual name of the victim’s relative, to make the scam more believable.

Ripon Police spokesperson, First Sergeant Steve Merchant cautioned residents who are being asked to send funds to various locations via Western Union. Residents are also being warned not to send money out of the country to unknown persons.

 “These criminals often target elderly trusting victims, so speak to your parents and grandparents about these issues,” Merchant said.

Merchant said residents should never send money to, or give personal information to, anyone whose identity cannot be verified.

Merchant said Ripon citizens should contact the police department if they have any questions about telephone, or e-mail scams. The department holds quarterly public meetings to inform residents about crimes in their city, including criminal telephone & e-mail scams. The next public meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m., at the police department.

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