Beaverton Police Department: Scams: the most impactful crime around

By Police Staff17-beaverton-police-logo-final-jpeg

We spend a serious amount of time investigating, talking about and writing about scams that are likely to affect you or a loved one’s daily life. Why? Because it is the most impactful crime trend and the one most likely to be around for a while.

Unfortunately, there is no end in sight to these types of crimes. Bad guys have become so sophisticated and are so convincing even the most aware and educated fall victim. Here are a few scams that are currently popular. Some have been around a long time and others are relatively new:

IRS Scam

This scam is effective because the caller is convincing, caller I.D. may show the call coming from the IRS in Washington D.C. which adds credibility and people are seriously concerned that law enforcement is on the way to pick them up. Caller claims you owe money to the IRS. If not paid immediately warrants will be issued and an arrest is imminent. Victim is often directed to purchase gift cards to satisfy debt. Caller may already have personal information on the victim.

Hang up, it’s a scam.

Jury Duty

Scammers tell victims they have missed jury duty and warrant will be issued if they don’t pay fine. Many times, that “payment” is in the form of purchasing gift cards.

Hang up, it’s a scam.

Craigslist/Offer up/Let go

You advertise an item to sale on craigslist. Caller offers you full price for the item and sends you a check. The check is for more than you asked. Suspect asks you to deposit the overage into an account (number provided) or buy gift card. Check is often fraudulent and you are out the “overage” you sent back to them in some form.

Back away, it’s a scam.

Computer Virus

Suspect calls claiming to be from Microsoft or Windows. You are told that a virus exists on your computer and the caller needs remote access to fix it. That access to your computer could divulge personal information and/or allow them to install a virus that they will hold “hostage” until you pay a ransom.

Hang up, it’s a scam.


Anytime someone asks for payment via wire transfers and/or any type of cash cards to include iTunes, Google Play etc., it usually signals a scam.

Don’t open any unexpected attachments on computer or smart phones and share your personal information. Contact the business or person directly to verify the information.

Report scams to the Better Business Bureau and to the Federal Trade Commission

Don’t always trust caller I.D. Don’t give out account numbers or other personal information online, over phone or via text to any questionable business or individual. “Flee” from “Free”

More information is available from the BBB and FTC websites.