Posts Tagged :

scams

Image of fake pharmaceuticals confiscated by LASD.
Intellectual Property 900 503 SIB Staff

Intellectual Property

National Day of World Intellectual Property

Today we mark National Day of World Intellectual Property. The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 to “raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life” and “to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe.”

Counterfeiting is the largest global criminal enterprise affecting economic growth and impacting the health and safety of consumers. This illicit trade is a significant problem worldwide that continues to grow. Whether it is smuggling, counterfeit, or tax evasion, governments are losing billions of dollars in tax revenues, legitimate businesses are being undermined, and consumers are being exposed to poorly made and unregulated products.

Image of 40 or 50 fake motorcycle helmets displayed in an office. The Helmets are on a wall rack along the wall.

It is a crime to steal, with the intention to, Sell and/or Manufacture of someone’s registered trademark and/or logo, whether it’s a song, artwork, or tangible property. 

Within the County of Los Angeles, the Sheriff’s Department enforces trademarks to protect against Intellectual Property theft and ensure the health and safety of consumers. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Counterfeit and Piracy Enforcement (CAPE) Team is an active investigative unit consisting of Sheriff Deputies, a Sergeant, and a Lieutenant responsible for enforcing counterfeit-related crimes and investigation of various “quality of life” issues, including counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and safety products. 

If you know of someone who is selling counterfeit products, you can call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Community Partnerships Bureau, Counterfeit and Piracy Enforcement Team at 323-981-5300 to provide information on the Sale and/or Manufacture of counterfeit goods. Or if you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

Fake warrant calls from unknown persons 900 900 SIB Staff

Fake warrant calls from unknown persons

Fake warrant calls from unknown persons

“Hello, there is a warrant issued for your arrest!”

On Friday, July 17th, 2020, one of our deputies from the San Dimas Sheriff’s station was called out to take a “Fraud by False Pretenses” report. See, the victim received a phone call from an unknown person and number indicating he was a “Drug Investigator.” This so called Drug Investigator told the victim she had “warrants for her arrest” and there was fraudulent activity with her social security number which she needed to rectify immediately. Thankfully the victim did not believe him, but the unknown caller then asked her if she would feel more comfortable speaking with someone from the San Dimas Sheriff’s station.

To her dismay, a second person called her and identified himself as the someone from San Dimas Sheriff’s station. This second person told her to do everything the “Drug Investigator” asked of her. The “Drug Investigator” then called her back and requested gift cards from her. Sadly, this victim fell into their trap and bought gift cards totaling over $4,000 to “pay” for the clearing of the warrants and the fraudulent activity associated with her social security number.

After discussing this with others, the victim realized she had fallen for this scam and was out $4,000.00.

Please know the following: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reminds you that we will never call you about any of the following:

*Monetary requests such as gift cards of any type to pay for “warrants”
*Delivery of such monies via telephone
*COVID relief payments/checks — very common now a days

“Threatening Impersonator Phone calls” are not new but they seem to be more common now especially with COVID related charities.

If you are unsure of who you are speaking with, please ask the caller for their information, hang up and call the specific agency in question. DO NOT GIVE ANY OF YOUR INFORMATION over the phone.

Do your homework and be aware of all the possible scams and those who prey on innocent people!

For more information related to tax scams please visit:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-unveils-dirty-dozen-list-of-tax-scams-for-2020-americans-urged-to-be-vigilant-to-these-threats-during-the-pandemic-and-its-aftermath

THREAT-BASED IMPERSONATION SCAM 468 613 SIB Staff

THREAT-BASED IMPERSONATION SCAM

THREAT-BASED IMPERSONATION SCAM

If you receive a demand for payment by telephone, email, or other means of communication, to be made in any form for any reason, from someone portraying themself as a deputy sheriff or other Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employee, do not comply.  Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel will never ask for payment over the phone or by email.
  
Here are some tips to identify a potential threat-based impersonation scam and how to prevent yourself from falling prey to this scam or similar scams:
 
TACTICS:

  • Scammers conduct social media and Internet reconnaissance on their potential victims.
  • Scammers call and deceive their victims into thinking the callers are law enforcement officers or from a government agency.
  • Scammers may spoof a law enforcement phone number, falsely showing on the victim’s caller ID.
  • They threaten victims with arrest for outstanding warrants or other legal issues.
  • They instruct the victims to “resolve” the matter by “posting bail” with gift cards or Bitcoin.
  • Once a victim makes the purchase, the scammer instructs them to read the gift card numbers or bitcoin key over the phone.
  • Once the scammer is satisfied they received the necessary information, the line is disconnected.

 
PREVENTION METHODS:

  • If you are unsure if a call or email is real, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source, such as a phone book or online search.  Do not use the contact details provided by the caller or in the message they sent.
  • Do not feel pressured by a threatening caller.  Hang up and verify their story.
  • Never send money, or give bank account, credit card, or personal information to anyone you do not know or trust.
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel or any government agency will never ask for any type of payment over the telephone.  Financial transactions with our agency are handled at patrol stations, courthouses, and custody facilities.

If you believe you were a victim of this type of crime, contact your local law enforcement agency and report the incident. You can find the contact information for your local law enforcement agency at www.lasd.org/stations.

If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google Play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org


Identity Theft, Fraud & scams.
Elder Abuse Awareness Month – Public Education Video 1024 576 SIB Staff

Elder Abuse Awareness Month – Public Education Video

Elder Abuse Awareness Month – Public Education Video

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors proclaimed June 2020 as “Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Awareness Month.”

The importance of acknowledging and recognizing Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse cannot be understated. Throughout the County of Los Angeles, thousands of elder and dependent adults are financially victimized by family members, caretakers, scam artists, and strangers every year. These people who are part of the Greatest Generation is among the most deserving of our protection, care and tradition of service.

In ongoing efforts to protect our Greatest Generation, The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau – Elder Fraud Detail personnel put together a short, educational video for elders, their families, friends, and neighbors to learn what to watch out for and what to do if they know someone who may be a victim of elder abuse.

Victims or informants alleging elder fraud should contact their local sheriff’s station or police agency, or adult protective services agency to report the crime.

Along with this news release is a link to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Public Education video concerning elder abuse.

OTHER PUBLIC REFERENCE MATERIAL:
The Elder Fraud Detail has compiled resources for citizens to reference on this topic:

Project Lifesaver & LA Found
https://lafound.lacounty.gov/
F.A.I.R. Pamphlet (PDF attached)
Adult Protective Services website with online reporting:
https://cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/adult-protective-services
Federal Trade Commission educational material:
http://www.ftc.gov/PassItOn.com
California Department of Business Oversight:
https://dbo.ca.gov/preventing-and-reporting-elder-financial-abuse/
Or http://www.dbo.ca.gov and search keyword “elder” for additional information
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/recognizing-elder-financial-abuse/
http://www.consumerfinance.gov” www.consumerfinance.gov and search keyword “Elder” for additional information

Person using a mobile phone with a message from an unkown sender reading, "Because of Covid-19 we are sending you $1000"
Coronavirus Text and Phone Scams 900 900 SIB Staff

Coronavirus Text and Phone Scams

Watch For Coronavirus Text, and Phone Scams


Tips from #LASD for Stimulus Check Package Scams

1. The government will not ask you to pay any fees or up front charges to receive these benefits.

2. The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.⁣

3. Issuing of checks aren’t yet a reality. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.⁣

4. Remember, government agencies do not communicate through social media. Be wary of unsolicited messages.

Coronavirus Scams 1024 1024 SIB Staff

Coronavirus Scams

There are unscrupulous persons out there who are taking advantage of the Coronavirus nationwide circumstances. Please prepare & protect yourself and your family, but don’t panic. The Department is aware there are a few scams out there, please read the information below to avoid becoming a victim. At this time, our Department is not aware of any local cases. We are, however, monitoring COVID-19 and making sure the public is aware of these scams. 

DO NOT click on phishing emails, links, or attachments you don’t recognize; hackers maybe be able to access your personal information if you click, open, or log in to a fake page. You may receive emails from fraudulent accounts impersonating official websites or Doctors. For example, an email will come from @CDC-GOV.ORG vs. the official email sender of @CDC.GOV. Make sure you hover over the link to verify the URL & domain name (Uniform Resource Locator).  

IGNORE fraudulent online offers claiming they are selling COVID-19 knockoff products, cures or treatments. At this time, per CDC, there is no vaccine for Coronavirus. There are scammers claiming they are selling the “N95” respirator face masks vs. regular surgical masks, or hand sanitizer that is 60% alcohol. Please purchase from businesses you trust. 

BE AWARE of fraudulent fundraising campaigns or donation requests for cash, gift cards, and credit cards. There are scammers seeking contributions via emails or going door to door. At this time, CDC is not sending persons door to door for cash or soliciting donations through bitcoin or PayPal.

PRICE GOUGING California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued a price gouging alert due to State of Emergency. 

To get information, resources, and updates from official Departments, please visit www.CDC.gov or https://www.cdph.ca.gov . For local Los Angeles County information please visit the local webpage at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/. If you believe you have been scammed, contact your bank and/or credit card company immediately and report it to your local law enforcement. If you think there is a situation where a business may be charging excessively, please file a complaint through the website at https://www.oag.ca.gov/ or call 800-952-5225.