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Press release from the Livingston County Sheriff's Office:

Livingston County Undersheriff James M. Szczesniak warns the public of the continuous scams by internet, mail and telephone by skilled thieves. Some of the most popular scams currently being reported in our area are:

"Grandparent Scam"
Typically, the grandparent receives a frantic phone call from whom they are led to believe is their grandchild. A scammer, posing as their grandchild, explains that he or she has gotten into trouble—often in Canada—and needs their help. The “grandchild” might claim he or she caused a car accident or was arrested for drug possession. With the new wave of calls, victims are also contacted by someone claiming to be a police officer or lawyer representing the grandchild in court.

The “grandchild” pleads to the grandparents to not tell his or her parents and asks that they wire thousands of dollars for reasons including posting bail, repairing the grandchild’s car, covering lawyer’s fees or even paying hospital bills for a person the grandchild injured in a car accident.   

"Sweepstakes/Lottery Scam"
Begins with an unexpected email, mail or phone call notification that "You have won!" a large sum of money in a lottery. The recipient of the message — the target of the scam — is usually told to keep the notice secret, "due to a mix-up in some of the names and numbers," and to contact a "claims agent." After contacting the agent, the target of the scam will be asked to pay "processing fees" or "transfer charges" so that the winnings can be distributed, but will never receive any lottery payment.  Many lottery scams use the names of legitimate lottery organizations or other legitimate corporations/companies, but this does not mean the legitimate organizations are in any way involved with the scams.

Tips to avoid being scammed:

Do not pay for any prize or send money to improve your chances of winning; it is illegal for someone to ask you to pay to enter a contest.

Do not allow any caller to intimidate you into buying something "right now".  If the caller says, "you have to make up your mind right now" or "we must have your money today", those offers are probably scams.

Do not give any caller your bank account number; they can use it to withdraw money from your account at any time without your knowledge.

Do not give your credit card number or social security number to anyone over the telephone unless you initiated the call and know who you are speaking to.

Do not wire money or send money to anyone you don't know.

Undersheriff Szczesniak advises if you have concerns you are encouraged to contact your local police department, Sheriff's Office or New York State police at any hour of the day or night.  

Remember, never hesitate to call (585) 243-7100 for non emergencies or 911 for any emergency.

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