Edina, Minn., Aug. 22, 2022 – The Edina Police Department reminds residents about the importance of remaining cautious and informed to protect themselves from scams. It is imperative to be on the lookout for red flags and refrain from providing any personal information to prevent being taken advantage of.
The senior population is the main target of scammers. Unfortunately, seniors are the most common victims. Scammers are constantly adapting and changing their tactics to make their scams even more convincing, so it is more important than ever to stay vigilant.
Recent prevalent scams include pop-up ads or emails saying your computer has been infected with malware, as well as calls or voicemails claiming there is a warrant out for your arrest, a “loved one” calling to say they are in trouble or have been arrested, or a bank saying that your account has been hacked. This is by no means an exhaustive list— merely a few examples.
Residents are reminded to take the following precautions to verify the legitimacy of a potential scam and protect their personal property and privacy:
- Always call a trusted family member or friend and explain what is happening to see if they think anything seems off before taking any action.
- If you are instructed to purchase gift cards as a means of payment, this is an immediate no-go.
- Keep an eye out for grammatical errors. If you receive an email or see a pop-up ad with typos, that is a red flag.
- If you are concerned that your computer has malware, bring it into a physical storefront. Do not give anyone on the phone your passwords or permission to remotely access your computer.
- Call the Edina Police Department’s non-emergency line and ask to speak about potential scams.
- Simply hang up the phone. If you want to verify afterward that the call you received was illegitimate, go online and look up the organization they claim they were from, find the direct phone number from their website and call.
There is no shortage of information publicly available about you online. Scammers can easily access information such as names of family members, past addresses and companies. Just because someone on the phone can name off facts about you does not mean they are legitimate.
“We’ve seen people lose huge amounts of money to scammers, ranging from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is extremely upsetting,” said Detective Morgan Piper. “The main thing I want to emphasize is to just hang up the phone. Get in touch with a trusted friend or family member and ask them what they think of the situation before giving out any of your information.”
Anyone who feels they may be victim of scamming should contact the non-emergency line for the Edina Police Department, 952-826-1600.