Madison County, IL (KSDK) -- Police are warning citizens to be aware of their finances after one Illinois resident fell victim to a scam, the Madison County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.
Police say on May 21, a victim reported they got a letter in the mail that appeared to be from Publishers Clearing House. The letter stated that the victim had won $650,000 in cash, and instructed the victim to contact the number provided.
When the person called the phone number, they were instructed to mail a check for just under $5,000 to cover the insurance for this prize, which the victim then did.
The Sheriff's Office wants citizens to be aware of scams such as these and stay educated so as to avoid them.
Here are some tips the Sheriff's Office provided so as to help you safeguard your finances:
- Do not believe the promise of large sums of money in exchange for your cooperation.
- Guard your account information carefully.
- Never throw away ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards, or bank statements in a usable form.
- Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless you make the call.
- Reconcile your bank account monthly and notify your bank of disrepancies immediately.
- Keep a list of telephone numbers to call to report the loss or theft of your wallet, credit cards, etc.
- Report unauthorized financial transactions to your bank, credit card company, and the police as soon as you detect them.
- Review a copy of your credit report at least once a year. Notify the credit bureau in writing of any questionable entries and follow through until they are explained or removed.
- If your identity has been assumed, ask the credit bureau to print a statement to that effect in your credit report.
- If you know of anyone who receives mail from credit card companies or banks in the names of others, report it to local or federal law enforcement authorities.
- Know who you are dealing with.
If you suspect you have been a target or victim of a scam, contact your local police department or the Madison County Sheriff's Office at 618-692-4433.