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Scams and fraud

Hundreds of people fall for scams every year in Marion County, losing money and their sense of security. Follow these tips to ensure you don't also become a victim, and share with your friends and family to help build a safer Marion County for everyone.

Watch for:

1. Unsolicited calls or emails. These are communications that you aren't expecting and are out of the ordinary.

2. Requests for money or personal information. You may be asked to pay a bill, donate to a charity or pay a fine. Or, you could be asked for your credit card, bank account or social security number. 

3. Required wire transfers. Wire transfer services don't have the same fraud protection as credit or debit cards, and are often the means used by scammers to obtain money from their victims. Reputable companies and government agencies would not require wiring money.

4. Tight deadlines. You might be asked to provide money or personal information very quickly. You might be told that your utilities will be shut off, your assets will be repossessed or that your credit card was stolen. This is an effort to force you to make a hasty decision.

 If you receive a call with these characteristics:

1. Don't share. Don't give any financial or personal information.

2. Hang up. Get off the phone with the suspicious caller.

3. Verify. If you think the caller might be legitimate, call the company using a phone number on a bill, bank statement or other verified source. This extra step is worth the time spent to ensure you are not releasing information that could be used to defraud you.

Other resources:

Federal Trade Commission scam alerts

FBI common fraud schemes

USA.gov scams and frauds information

Marion County Sheriff's Office