Sheriff Whittington said, "Whether it's a Medicare scam to take advantage of the elderly, a telemarketing scam to cheat people out of their money or phishing to gain someone's identity, these types of criminal activities are becoming more prevalent in our society."
Sheriff Whittington has some tips on how to protect yourself from scammers.
· Be cautious with your identity. Never give personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, date of birth or Social Security numbers to someone who has contacted you unsolicited, whether by phone, email, social media or in person, even if they ask you to "confirm" this information.
· Don't trust caller ID or e-mail messages just because they look legitimate. Scammers have technology that lets them display any number or organization name on your screen. They also devise letterhead to look like the real thing.
· Ask the person for their name and phone number. If it's a scam, the call will likely end there. If they do provide the information, contact the actual business via their official phone number to report what happened.
· It's okay to say "no thanks" and hang up the phone.
· Resist pressure to make a decision immediately on a pressure sales call.
· Don't pay for something just because you'll get a "free gift."
· Do not respond or click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
· Remember…if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
· If you feel you've been victimized, call your bank and credit card companies to explain what happened. The sooner you contact them, the more likely you will be reimbursed for any fraudulent charges on your accounts.
· Monitor your bank account and credit card accounts carefully. It may be weeks or months before scammers attempt to use your information, so check it regularly.
· Contact the credit reporting agencies. Experian, (888) 397-3742; TransUnion, (800) 916-8800 or Equifax, (800) 525-6285.
· Contact your local law enforcement agency to report any possible scams or criminal activity. Bossier Sheriff's Office at (318) 965-2203 or Bossier City Police Department (318) 741-8605.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.