Eureka Police Department warns of scams plaguing Eureka citizens

The following is a release from the Eureka Police Department Public Information Office, dated March 16, 2011:
The Eureka Police Department has received numerous reports of a variety of scams that are plaguing citizens of Eureka, particularly the elderly. One popular scam is to call a grandparent posing as a grandchild who is in trouble and needs money sent.  An example is a grandson goes on face book or my space and announces he is going on a trip to Canada or some other country.  Someone takes that information, which may include information about the grandparent, and uses it in the scam. They may claim they have rented a car and had wreck or some one claiming to be a friend of the grandchild is calling for them for bail money as they were arrested.  The amount asked for is usually around $2000.

 Another popular scam is the “secret shopper” scam.  You are sent a check for around $4000.00 but you are asked to cash the check and send part of it to a person they identify for you and you use the rest of the money to make purchases at a certain store and then report back how you were treated as a customer. However, five days later your bank informed you the check was no good.  As the check passes through the banking system, sometimes it takes weeks before you learn the check was counterfeit.

 Another scam is you get a call or letter or e-mail claiming you won some type of lottery, perhaps in Canada or England but you are required to send money for handling fees.  A legitimate lottery never asks for money, anything they need could be taken from your winnings.

 Also recently, citizens of Eureka received, in the mail, offers for water problem insurance. The claim is made that you can insure against a water problem in your home for only $4.95 per month.  This may be a legitimate service but is usually not necessary as most home owners insurance covers those problems.  

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