Be wary: Fraud comes in many forms


This week I will start to look at some common fraud schemes to be on the lookout for. These include:

Advance fee: The victim (you) pays money to someone in anticipation of receiving something greater in return. The most common result of this scheme is the victim receives little or nothing in return. This comes in the form of a loan, contract, investment or gift. The most recent scheme has involved someone needing to ship valuables to the United States from a foreign country to save the value from taxes.

Business fraud: Activities undertaken by an individual or company in a dishonest or illegal manner to be advantageous to the perpetrating person or company. Recent examples involve a phone call from “corporate” asking the person’s assistance in auditing the business records and asking confidentiality from the management level of the business, removing money from the registers and delivering to a courier arriving near the business.

Counterfeit prescription drugs: Fake medications are illegal and may be hazardous to your health. You have no idea what may be in them. Young people may be introduced to them at gatherings and they may be represented as a familiar medication anticipated to be ingested as a party drug.

Credit card fraud: The unauthorized use of a credit or debit card, or card number, to fraudulently obtain money or property. This has become way too common to pinpoint one specific method.

Fraud against seniors: Senior citizens should be especially aware of fraud targeting their lifestyle and savings, and follow a series of tips (from the FBI) to protect themselves from their family members.

Fraudulent cosmetics and anti-aging products: The internet has given consumers access to health and beauty products, many from foreign sources, that they do not know are fake.

Funeral and cemetery fraud: Regulations for prepaid funeral services vary from area to area, providing a window of opportunity for unscrupulous operators.

Health care or health insurance fraud: The FBI is the primary investigative agency involved in the fight against health care fraud, with jurisdiction over federal and private insurance programs.

Identity theft: Identity theft occurs when someone assumes your identity to perform a fraud or other criminal act. This is, by far, the most often reported scheme at this time.

Internet auction fraud: Consumers are strongly cautioned against entering into internet auction transactions with subjects exhibiting irregular behavior or making odd payment requests. Do not lose sight of the fact that new identities can be created to prevent a traceable track record. It’s best to deal with reputable sites.

This is a partial listing of the crimes that are creeping their way into our lives here in Boulder City. I will continue the list next week to better enlighten you about how bad guys are inserting their way into our everyday lives. Education is key to making sure you (and your family) do not fall victim to an unknown issue. Some of these can damage or destroy your fiscal standing while others can take your life.

I will spend several weeks going in-depth through each of these areas in an attempt to arm you for dealing with the unexpected.

The information for this article has been gathered from the FBI and can be investigated further on its website www.fbi.gov.

Here is hoping that each of you enjoyed the Christmas holiday in your own unique way and that the new year brings a promise of great things to come. Please join with the Boulder City Police Department in making 2017 one of our best years yet. Blessings to you all.

Dec. 22. Suspicious: Officers take time out to counsel a parent on the dangers of leaving a child unattended in inclement weather at 12:03 p.m. in the 600 block of Avenue G.

Suspicious: The caller states the white SUV was traveling slowly and a woman exited the passenger side and retrieved something from the sidewalk then continued driving slowly at 12:03 p.m. in the 1400 block of Highland Drive.

Thought for the day: Officers spend more time educating on the law than enforcing it some days.

Dec. 23. Welfare: An elderly woman is sleeping on the ground by the bus stop and angrily informs the officer she lives like she wants and it is not against the law to be homeless at 7:13 a.m. in the area of Nevada Way and Elm Street.

Family disturbance: The parties are intoxicated and the male half insists the blood on his face came from smashing a beer can against his own head at 7:47 a.m. in the 1300 block of Potosi Street.

Thought for the day: It is a sad fact that many of the homeless are mentally ill and prefer to live on the street rather than follow rules in a shelter or housing.

Dec. 24. Theft: The party is in the lobby to report the theft of packages delivered to the front door at 11:17 a.m. in the 1000 block of Arizona Street.

Civil: The couple share parenting duties without the benefit of a legal agreement and are finding that it is a better idea to get things in writing at 4:17 p.m. in the 100 block of Ville Drive.

Thought for the day: What people agree to do when content and what they actually do when angry are sometimes very different things.

Dec. 25. Wanted: A quick trip to McDonald’s ends up with a fully extraditable warrant service from another state at 4:31 a.m. in the 1200 block of Nevada Highway.

Family disturbance: The employee reports a man and woman fighting in the parking lot at 10:27 a.m. in the 1100 block of Nevada Highway.

Thought for the day: It’s not a great day for domestic tranquility and fast food.

Dec. 26. Battery: A man is combative and draws blood from two caregivers before officers can arrive and end the chaos at 10:50 a.m. in the 600 block of Adams Boulevard.

See person: The complaint begins as harassment and ends with infidelity and the knowledge that a confession will eliminate the power in the threats at 11:17 a.m. in the 1000 block of Arizona Street.

Thought for the day: The stories are rarely as cut and dried as they appear at first.

Dec. 27. Battery: The subject reports being battered at his workplace and then given $86 to forget the whole thing at 9:55 a.m. in the 1000 block of Arizona Street.

Animal: The caller reports a coyote limping around in the drive-thru of the establishment at 10:25 a.m. in the 1000 block of Nevada Way.

Thought for the day: We have several coyotes running around town now and a few are sporting previous injuries. Keep your pets inside.

Dec. 28. Accident: A van and bus meet by accident and the roadway becomes pandemonium at 4:16 p.m. in the area of mile marker 11 on U.S. Highway 93.

Trespass: Several businesses have disturbances caused by transients resulting in formal trespasses including this one at 6:53 a.m. in the 1600 block of Nevada Highway.

Thought for the day: Thank you to all of the residents and visitors who remained patient and cordial during a traffic nightmare involving multiple injuries.

Call of the week: Traffic stop: Yet another motorist is stopped for not obeying the law involving moving lanes and slowing speed for an emergency vehicle. The fine is hefty and when combined with the other violations prove it’s much more lucrative to read the rules of the road than “dish out the dough” right before the holidays at 12:59 a.m. Dec. 23 in the area of mile marker 6 of U.S. Highway 93.

Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.