EPD Scam Alert
Local Spike in “Impostor Scams”
EPD is seeing increased cases of “impostor scams” in Elkins. These scams begin with a call, text message, or an email from someone you trust: a government agent, a family member, a fraud-prevention worker, your student-loan lender, or someone who promises to fix your phone or computer.
Before you know it, your money is gone.
- Telling you that you must take action immediately
- Asking for personal or account information
- Requesting that you download an app to enable them to fix your phone or computer
- Directing you pay by gift card, cryptocurrency (e.g., Bitcoin), or wire transfer
- Be suspicious of any call from a government agency or business asking for money or information. This isn’t what governments or reputable businesses do; it’s what scammers do.
- Don’t trust Caller ID. Even if the call looks real, this is easy to fake, so you could be talking to anyone.
- Never pay by gift card, cryptocurrency (e.g., Bitcoin), or wire transfer. These charges can’t be reversed and you won’t be able to recover your money.
- Hang up and call back. Get the name of the agency or company, hang up, and look the number up yourself. Call the listed number and ask if they are trying to reach you.
What To Do
If you think you’ve been scammed or have been contacted by a scammer, report the incident to local law enforcement (911 or EPD non-emergency number: 304-636-0678).
- If you’ve lost money to a phone scam or have information about the company or scammer who called you, report it at ftc.gov.
- If you didn’t lose money and just want to report a call, you can use the FTC’s streamlined reporting form at gov.
- If you or someone you know has been the victim of an internet crime, file a complaint with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): https://www.ic3.gov.
For more information about identifying and avoiding scams: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-avoid-scam