Macon police warn community about scams

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MACON -  The Macon Police Department sent a out a notice Wednesday warning residents about various scams occurring throughout the area. 

The department said a recent upswing in calls from community members caused it to warn the community. 

Patrolman Tyler Robinson said the department has seen multiple scams throughout the summer but there are currently three major scams going through the area. The scams involve both the internet and the phone. 

One involves a caller claiming to be with the IRS and asking for file information. The second scam the department has seen is people receiving calls from scammers claiming to be a member of their family and needing money to be wired for medical treatment. The third one involves emails claiming the victim has one money and then errors occur that require them to send money. 

Robinson said the department has noticed the scams seem to target elderly people. 

"I don't know if these people who create these scams think they're more gullible when it comes to believing things are true, but generally it's targeted for elderly," Robinson said. 

The department has also noticed that the scammers already know so much about the people they contact. 

"We believe that is coming from social media, such as Facebook," Robinson said. "They'll know family members,friends, a lot of people even put their full name, birth date, where they're from and all their personal information right there on Facebook." 

Robinson said people shouldn't be surprised when their caller knows a lot about them. 

"I think as social media grows and as it gets larger and more sites are open, people are going to put more and more personal information out on the web that everybody and anybody can get it," Robinson said. 

Robinson said once a scam occurs the department can open an investigation and attempt to track down the person involved. 

"What I always tell people is to never give any information over the phone," Robinson said. "Anytime anyone calls you and asks you for this information its probably a scam, most of your banking facilities and other facilities will actually contact you via mail." 

Robinson said the best thing for people to do is to collect their thoughts and confirm information by calling the agency if they receive a call asking for money. 

Macon assistant police chief Mike Platte said in Macon there has only been one real victim of internet scam over the last few months. 

Platte also said there were five victims of fraudulent income tax return. 

Despite the low number of victims, the department said it wants to act immediately to protect people's finances. 

The department receives daily calls from citizens alerting it of the various scams and any suspicious phone calls.