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Law enforcement warns Chippewa County residents of scams

CHIPPEWA COUNTY — Local law enforcement officials warn the public of ongoing frauds and scams that eastern Upper Peninsula residents have experienced recently.

The Michigan State Police Sault Ste. Marie Post reported that a Chippewa County resident reported he received a phone call that his grandson had been involved in a traffic crash in the California area and was arrested. The caller identified himself as a public defender for the grandson and was requesting a large sum of money be wired to an address provided by the caller to represent the grandson.

After the money was sent, it was determined the phone number was disconnected.

Several Chippewa County residents have reported their accounts were compromised due to online transactions.

MSP urges people who suspect they are being scammed either by phone or email and feel compelled to act to contact law enforcement prior to acting or sending money.

They are urged not to be persuaded to send money or give personal information regarding their bank accounts, credit cards, Social Security numbers or other identifying information.

Suspected fraudulent activity can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0208-phone-scams.

Anyone losing money to a phone scam or who has information about the company or scammer that called are asked to report it to ftc.gov/complaint. Anyone who did not lose money but want to report a scam can use the streamlined reporting form at donotcall.gov.

Complainants are asked to note the caller’s number that appears on their phone caller ID as well as any phone number they are given to call back.

The FTC will analyze all complaint data and trends to identify illegal callers based on calling patterns. They are asked to collect names given and numbers provided. The FTC can use this information to try to track down the scammers.

Anyone receiving phone calls, emails or some other form of communication in which the caller is claiming they are from the Treasury Department and who is offering COVID-19 stimulus payments or some form of a grant in exchange for personal information, or is requiring the purchase of gift cards to obtain money, should realize this is a scam, MSP said.

They may contact local enforcement or the FBI at www.ic3.gov.

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