It had to happen because there are bad actors seemingly around every corner, and I don't mean bad movies. I mean crooks, scoundrels, hackers, criminals, you name it, ready to take your money.

This time the scammer masquerades as  law enforcement and calls residents claiming they have unpaid fines that will result in arrests unless money is forwarded. The Kent County Sheriff's office says if you get one of these calls, you are told to buy prepaid cards and send them the card numbers.

Internet crime and electronic banking security
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RED FLAG! RED FLAG! Buy a prepaid card and send me the number? Are you kidding?

But, the sheriff's office says that the "bad guys" spoof genuine phone numbers belonging to law enforcement agencies, making it seem like the call is coming from a trusted source.

Sheriff Badge
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Fox17 reports that these stupid scam call are really difficult to trace making it tough for law enforcement to get after the bad guys. So, we have to be vigilant, and smart about it because the Sheriff's office says that that they would never call you to request payment.

You know what's doubly sad about this? People have fallen for it and run right out, bought prepaid cards and sent them the numbers. Ack! Shame on you!

Man using a ATM
sanjagrujic/Getty Images

There are many more wild scams floating around. For instance, someone sends you a check and you're asked to cash it and send them the money. The check is forged, of course.

photo by Ilya Pavlov on unsplash
photo by Ilya Pavlov on unsplash

This scam I actually have received. I got a call from someone supposedly from Microsoft claiming that they detected a virus in my computer and they need to take control to clean everything up. I laughed and hung up!

Confused man having phone call
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Common sense is the key here. Be cautious when you get a call from an unrecognized phone number. If you do answer, don't give away any personal or banking information, and hang up. If you think it may have been legit, don't call back, but call the place, bank, whatever to verify if they actually did call.

Be safe!

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