ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Elizabethtown Police Department is warning locals of a scam making the rounds after it received dozens of reports of fraudulent bank notices being delivered to people’s mailboxes.
Elizabethtown Police Officer John Thomas said with a quick glance, the cards look legitimate at first. And he said the scammers are doing their homework to make the mailers seem authentic.
“These scammers have apparently used public records to figure out where their intended victims have banked four to five years ago,” Thomas said.
With that information, the scammers created fake bank notices with a bank’s name, a mortgage number and a phone number to call.
“It’s usually something to the effect of you have a mortgage that’s been opened up in your name,” Thomas said. “And there’s an issue with it, and you need to contact us immediately.”
Thomas said people have reported receiving these cards impersonating Chase Bank, Republic Bank, USAA and First Federal Bank. If you call that number, an automated voice will request you input the mortgage identification number listed on your card.
“The claim that they will make if you call that number is that someone has stolen your identity,” Thomas said. “And in order to clear it up, they need your information. So they will steal your identity in order to fix your identify theft.”
Many scams are not looking to swindle people out of money but looking to steal identities, because those can be much more valuable.
“A lot of folks don’t even realize that identity theft is the No. 1 type of organized crime,” Thomas said.
Thomas said people are also reporting an email scam floating around that provides fake invoice notices. The email will make it look like you forgot to pay a bill or like you need to approve a money transfer. Thomas said the best advice is to not click any links in emails from unrecognizable sources.
“We have had a couple reports of people clicking on those links, saying click here to pay invoice or click here to pay bill, and viruses are being installed on the computers,” Thomas said.
The best advice, whether it’s an email or a piece of mail, is to always double check the source. Thomas said you should the local number for your bank, or whatever company it claims to be, to verify if it is legitimate. And call the Elizabethtown Police Department so officers can keep track of where these scammers are targeting.
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