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Anti-Scam Task Force


Norwood Anti-Scam
Task Force

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Mission Statement: 

The Norwood Anti-Scam Task Force is staffed by Town of Norwood employees to provide education and awareness of scams that are occurring in Norwood. The Task Force is using a collaborative, cross-departmental approach, with a focus on older adults and those who may be more vulnerable, to help improve residents' lives by preventing and reducing scams that occur.

Our Goals:

  1. Increase education of how to protect oneself from fraudulent activity; including what to look out for, warning signs of suspicious behavior and what to do when an individual may have been scammed.
  2. Increase awareness of how common fraudulent activity may be as it relates to telephone scams, gift card scams, banking scams, lottery scams and charity scams.
  3. Reduce the number of Norwood residents (especially those who are 65+) being scammed through increased awareness and education.
  4. Decrease the negative stigma and shame associated with being a victim of elder fraud.

OVERVIEW OF A SCAM

Scammers will try to contact their victims by landline phones, cell phones, US mail, email and by leaving flyers at your door.

The Norwood Anti-Scam Task Force has found that all scams have similar characteristics and the sooner they are spotted, the less likely Norwood residents will become victims.

It's not your fault if you get scammed, you're a victim of a crime, reach out as soon as you can!

If you think you have been scammed Call Norwood Police Department: 781-440-5100

For more information and support click the links below:
www.ftc.gov


To reach the Norwood Anti-Scam Task Force email:
NASTF@norwoodma.gov

HOW DO SCAMMERS FIND YOU?

The most common way scammers have STOLEN from Norwood Residents is by contacting their victims by phone. Scammers buy a list of phone numbers (YOURS) and through their sophisticated phone systems, change the caller ID to a local company that the victim may do business with. For example, these companies WILL BE a bank, pharmacy, computer store or utility company.

Other common ways scammers have STOLEN money from Norwood residents is by purchasing a list of cell phone numbers, email addresses or street lists. Scammers WILL call or text YOUR phone number, send an email, send a letter via USPS or leave flyers at your home.

The purpose of any scam is the same - to STEAL YOUR MONEY. Whether by asking you to: send “their charity” a check, give them YOUR bank account number, give them YOUR debit or credit card number or go BUY gift cards.

Other scammers will ask you to give them remote access to your computer to “fix a problem”. The scammer WILL then install software to get YOUR bank account information and STEAL YOUR MONEY.

 

WHAT DO SCAMMERS SAY?

Scammers prey on people’s emotions. It can happen to anyone on any given day. Scammers work hard to catch you off guard. It’s not only what scammers say, it’s how they say it.

Scammers speak with an urgency in their voice or write an email or text message using wording that makes you think you need to act right away - YOU DON'T!

A few scams the Task Force has heard about are: Your family member has been at fault in a car accident and needs money to pay the hospital bill or get out of jail. If it's been a while since you talked to that family member, you may believe it’s true - IT'S NOT!

Another scam is when you receive an email (phishing, spoofing) that you didn’t pay your yearly fee to have your computer serviced so your account will be debited unless you call the number in the email. So you call the number because you don’t have that service and now you are talking to the scammer. The scammer kindly offers to take care of this by remotely accessing your computer - DON'T LET THEM!

Some scammers leave flyers on your front door to fix your porch, roof, etc. Once you pay them - THEY WILL NOT RETURN TO FINISH THE WORK.

 

TAKE CONTROL

  • Stop for a minute, take a deep breath.
  • Think about what the scammer said, mailed, texted, emailed to you or left on your door.
  • Does this sound correct?
  • Do you have the service they are describing?
  • Did they come to you looking for business?
  • Are they asking you to act quickly?

If you're concerned for a family member, hang up and call your family to be sure it's them.

If you don’t have that computer service or contract, delete that email. If you do have that contract, call the number you have and ask if you are current on your payments. Do not call the number in the email.

If you need work done on your house, ask friends for recommendations, do your research and find companies with good reputations, then contact them directly.

If you want to donate to a charity, contact the charity directly, do not give donations over the phone.

Don’t buy gift cards to pay a bill, a legitimate business will not ask for payment that way.

It’s Okay To:

  • Not click the antivirus link on your computer.
  • Hang up mid call if you answer in error and realize it’s a scam. Don’t answer when they call back.
  • Not answer the phone - someone who knows you will leave a message and you can call them back.
  • Throw out the letter that says you owe money when you know you don’t.
  • Delete that text, don’t engage with someone when you don’t have any accounts with that company.
  • Throw away the home improvement flyer left on your door.
  • Delete that email requesting money from you.
  • Never give personal information by phone or email.
It's not your fault if you get scammed, you're a victim of a crime, reach out as soon as you can!


If you think you have been scammed Call Norwood Police Department: 781-440-5100

For more information and support click the links below:
www.ftc.gov


To reach the Norwood Anti-Scam Task Force email:
NASTF@norwoodma.gov
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