LIVINGSTON — Livingston police say they've seen an increase in fraud cases where innocent victims are contacted by unknown persons and asked to send money for one reason or another.
Among the scams in the area, police said some victims have received a call from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. The caller tells victims they owe taxes, saying they need to get a money order and send it off, according to a police news release.
Police also say the "lottery scam" has been prevalent in the state for years. The victim is approached by someone who starts small talk. Then a person joins the group and eventually one of them will say they have a winning lottery ticket but cannot claim it because they are an illegal alien.
They will ask for some cash from the victim in exchange for part of the winnings. The other person will pretend not to know the winner and give them money to trick the victim.
Police are warning residents not to fall for this scheme. Police said they recently investigated a case where the victim lost more than $2,000 in the scam.
Officers also mentioned arrest warrant and bail scams, where the victim receives a phone call from a caller claiming to be a member of law enforcement. The scammer then tells the victim that he or she has an outstanding arrest warrant and need to send money to get rid of it.
In the bail scam, the caller will say someone related to the victim is in jail, usually in Mexico, and the victim needs to wire money, according to the news release.
Police remind residents to never trust that the person on the phone is who they claim to be and always get verification. Anyone with information or questions about scams in the area can call Livingston police at (209) 384-7916.