The town of Manlius Police Department is warning residents of a surge in money-related scams.
Four types have recently been reported by residents: a lottery scam, a shipping scam, an on-line service-type scam and one that is geared toward grandparents.
"The perpetrators are getting more creative with ways to get people to play into the scams," said Manlius Police Officer Angela Palmer. "One of our targeted victims received so many phone calls from an alleged shipping company about paying fees associated with picking up a package she never ordered, that she finally changed her phone number."
The Manlius Police Department advises the public to stay aware of these potential events and keep personal information confidential. Palmer recommends conversations occur about these types of crimes between adults and their elderly relatives or parents.
"When family members are involved, the instances of monetary losses go down drastically," she said.
Below are brief descriptions of the reported scams for easy identification:
The lottery scam
The lottery scam typically comes in the form of a letter or phone call and informs the targeted victim that he or she won a large sum of money, usually more than $1 million. The innocent party is then told he or she must first pay for the taxes and processing fees, which amounts to about $2,000, to claim the winnings, Palmer said. Sometimes a check is sent with the letter to be deposited, and the target is told to send a majority of it back via a wire service so the fees can be paid.
"After the money has been sent, the victims find out the check is drawn off either a closed account or it is counterfeit," said Palmer, adding there is no way the victims can contact the "company" at this point, and they are stuck covering the losses incurred from their bank account.