Every year, thousands of people lose money to telephone scams – from a few dollars to their life savings – and Wyoming residents have recently been targeted with scam artists requesting donations for their “local Fire Department and Paramedics.”
Every day, our police, firefighters and first responders risk their lives to make our communities safer. To show support, we may consider making a donation when a fund-raiser calls from the fire, police or paramedic service organization. However, before you do, we urge you to consider the following, to protect yourself against scams, which are becoming a common occurrence, even in our small, wonderful state.
Never provide personal, confidential, or financial information to a caller initiating contact with you. Many scam artists and thieves gain victims’ financial and personal information by using a sneaky technique, called pretexting. By impersonating an organization, government entity or business, the fraudster tricks their victim into literally handing over the very information to steal their hard-earned money and identities.
Call the organization or your local police or fire department to verify a fundraiser’s claim to be collecting on behalf of the organization or department. If the claim cannot be verified, report the solicitation to your local law enforcement officials.
- City of Gillette Police Department – 307.682.5155
- Campbell County Fire Department – 307.682.5319
- Campbell County Sheriff – 307.682.7271
Be wary if a fundraiser suggests you’ll receive special treatment for donating. For example, no legitimate fundraiser would guarantee that you won’t be stopped for speeding if you have a police organization’s decal in your car window. Don’t feel intimidated about declining to give. A caller who uses intimidation tactics is likely to be a scam artist. Report the call to your local law enforcement officials.
Don’t hand it out to just anyone – every time you’re asked for personal information, money or payment information, whether in an email, text or phone call, think about whether you can really trust the requester and if you really know with whom you are dealing.
Identity theft and fraud are two of our nation’s fastest growing forms of crime. Investing your time to learn how to minimize your risk of identity theft and fraud could be priceless.
Pinnacle Bank employees are volunteering their time and knowledge to educate the public, with the hopes of reducing the spread of these crimes in Wyoming. Learn how these crimes occur, techniques for spotting red flags and practical tips for fraud prevention. Gain insight to how identity thieves adapt to new technology and use different methods to commit the crimes.
If you are a business owner or manager, and would like us to come speak to your staff, or if you’re an individual and interested in learning more, please contact your local Pinnacle Bank branch.