Scams are popping up in Fox Valley in a number of ways.

At first, Karina O’Malley thought the recent 2020 Census telephone poll was legitimate. But that changed drastically as the interview progressed.

When the caller asked for his social security number, O’Malley, a resident of Green Bay, complied. But she immediately regretted it.

“My first mistake was giving her my social security number before asking her for her credentials,” she said. “I called the Census Bureau to ask the nature of the questions on the form and was told they never asked about your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers – nothing on them. preferences of political parties, or ask for money or donations. “

O’Malley frequently checks his bank accounts to make sure his Social Security information is not being used fraudulently. So far, so good. But she remains suspicious.

There are legitimate census surveys. But while authorized callers ask for details about jobs, household amenities, and income, they are prohibited from venturing into personal finance.

“I admit it took me an hour to be asked more and more personal and detailed questions about my household and my finances before my patience ran out and I started asking questions. on his credentials, ”O’Malley said.

The conversation was then interrupted.

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“They say they are from the census, but that doesn’t (necessarily) mean they are from the census,” she said.

Lisa Schiller, director of investigations and media relations for the Better Business Bureau serving Wisconsin, said the agency had not received a flood of reports of census-related scams.

“However, it would not surprise us (if it happened),” she said. “We know that scammers keep up with the news and use current events – such as the US Census, which takes place this year – to capitalize on them for their own personal gain.

“The fact that the US Census page has information on possible scams and related warnings tells us all that scams are already taking place using their name and information.”

Census-related scam reports may not be widespread, but there are plenty of reports of other scams in Fox Valley ranging from bogus unemployment claims to an assortment of financial scams.

Here are some examples:

  • A woman told Menasha police she paid an individual money to rent a cabin in the north. After the money was transferred, she was unable to contact the person who took the rental fee.
  • A Fox Crossing woman found a cabin for rent online and sent $ 750 through an app to pay for it. The person renting the chalet asked for an additional $ 300 to fix a broken pipe at the chalet. When the woman asked for a refund, she never received it.
  • Police were told that a resident of the Neenah area was attempting to return an online purchase and were ordered to purchase gift cards valued at $ 200 and send a photo of the numbers. card and PIN codes to an unknown person. The resident also gave the anonymous person remote access to the family’s computer.
  • A man from Fox Crossing tried to buy morphine pills online without a prescription. He did not receive the pills and the company asked for more money. The man sent more money through a cash app because he feared the online company would report him to the police. An officer told the man to stop sending money and buying drugs from unreliable online websites.
  • A citizen told police that someone used their personal information to apply for a $ 15,000 loan.
  • A Fox Cities resident said he had been contacted by the State Department of Workforce Development that someone had used their information to file an unemployment claim.
  • A man reported that someone used his identity to obtain unemployment benefits from Arkansas. He also contacted officials in Arkansas and called off the illegal transaction.

Andy Thompson can be reached at 920-996-7270 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Thompson_AW.

Defending oneself

The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin urges consumers to report scams on our BBB Scam Tracker page: https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker

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