MADISON COUNTY, Ala. — Sadly, there is always someone looking to make a quick buck at your expense.
Madison County Sheriff's Office Spokesman Lieutenant Donny Shaw said it's something that gets particular attention around the holidays. "It's not a great increase, but it's kind of like theft into vehicles, theft from your porch, or your house," Shaw said.
Millions of people fall victim to identity theft and fraud. Shaw says it's because at the closeout of the financial year thefts get a little higher and people can use that type of scheme to solicit information from you to victimize you.
Lieutenant Shaw says using common sense will be the greatest defense "If somebody sends you an email or if they call you and say that a relative has passed away and left you a lot of money; and all it takes is your bank information and $1,000 to recover this money then that's a scenario you should be alerted to," Lieutenant Shaw said.
He says if anyone reaches out asking for your bank account information or social security number it's more than likely a scam. Most companies you do business with likely have that information already on file, but sometimes people do fall victim.
The Madison County Sheriff's Office has prepared a step-by-step list of what to do if it happens to you.
"We have a new investigator that has come on board that has brought a fresh lookout on it and has prepared something to do," Lieutenant Shaw said.
Shaw says the first thing to do is call your local law enforcement agency; then contact the companies the scam artist claimed to have been representing.
He also advises placing a fraud alert on your credit report and report the incident to The Federal Trade Commission.