PRESS RELEASE – GOVERNMENT GRANT TELEPHONE SCAM ALERT
DATE: January 15, 2015
Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott and Sheriff Thomas Schneider announced today that Macon County residents are being targeted by a new telephone scam. The callers claim to be federal government employees, and notify the victims that they have been selected to receive several thousand dollars of federal grant money. Some of the calls, which are coming from outside the United States, have been disguised to show up on Caller ID as being placed from Washington, D.C., which lends credibility to the scam. The victims are directed that they must, in order to receive their grant money, purchase a prepaid debit card, typically in the amount of a few hundred dollars, and to call the scammers back to provide them the debit card number and security code. Once the scammers have the card number and code the money is theirs, and the fraud is completed.
“This is a variation of the many scams we see requesting money from the victims up front in order to receive a much larger sum,” Scott said. Residents are advised to hang up if one of these calls is received. If you suspect a scam is about to be or has been committed, please call the Elder Fraud Hotline at 217-615-7582. All calls are answered by State’s Attorney Jay Scott or Sheriff Thomas Schneider. For more information on scams, please visit the State’s Attorney’s website at www.sa-macon-il.us.