Pair Of Scams Making The Rounds In Madison County

Brett Blume
May 15, 2018 - 3:24 pm

Midland Texas Police Department Facebook (screenshot)

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) -  The Madison County Sheriff's Department is warning residents, especially seniors, that there are a couple of scams making the rounds right now.

Lt. Kris Tharp says the first one has to do with using your computer.

"An instance we had recently was a pop-up window came up while somebody was using the internet," according to Tharp. "It said their computer was infected with a virus. Within that pop-up window was a phone number they could call for a solution to that virus."

He says it turned out to be malware, and anybody who called the number was "quickly sucked into a web that was spun by the fraudster," designed to gain the computer owner's identity and ultimately their money.

Scam No. 2 is an updated variation of the age-old Grandparents scam, in which someone posing as the victim's grandson or granddaughter calls up, frantically asking that they be sent cash to deal with an emergency.

Tharp says this has also been reported on several recent occasions in Madison County.

"The scam was very elaborate in that there were two additional phone calls that were made," he explains. "One even came from a fictitious bail bondsman."

The goal of both types of scams -- to take as much money from the unsuspecting victim as they can.

Just last month Madison County officially unveiled its new TRIAD initiative, aimed at reducing the likelihood that residents will be duped by such schemes.

For instance, according to Tharp, a resident recently notified them of one such scam making the rounds.

"We were able to get that on to our social media platforms, educate the people," he recalls. "And we reached about 10,000 people in a short period of time, and I like to think that's 10,000 people that we prevented from falling victim to a scam."

Tharp adds that anyone who believes they've been targeted by scammers can call their local police department, the Madison County Sheriff's Department non-emergency line at (618) 692-4433, or go to the Sheriff's Department website or Facebook page.