The Hazelwood Police Department (HPD) would like to alert local residents to several telephone scams that have been reported recently. Some of them include the following fraudulent scenarios:
- Residents getting a phone call saying they won the Publishers’ Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. All they have to do to claim the prize is to meet someone in a parking lot and hand over $500.
- Residents getting a phone call from someone claiming to work for Ameren Missouri, They are told their electricity will be shut off if they don’t give their credit card information to the caller.
- Residents getting a phone call from someone claiming to be a friend of their grandson. The caller states the grandson has been arrested and locked up in a Mexican jail cell, and needs money wired to him for bail.
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has seen a recent increase in local phone scams across the country, with callers pretending to be from the IRS in hopes of stealing money or identities from victims.
Hazelwood police officers have investigated most of these cases and have found the phone calls to be fictitious in nature. They remind residents not to give out any personal information over the telephone like their Social Security number, credit card numbers, bank account information, and street address in order to avoid becoming victims of Identity Theft. Many of the residents who filed police reports said when they threatened to notify the police, the callers quickly hung up. At this time, no one has lost any money after being victimized with these phone scams.