Knox County
Sheriff's Office

Knox County
Sheriff's Office


Share this Story

Click Below to Go to Our

Badge with "Scam Alert"

PSA – Current Financial Scams

The following is a list of the current financial scams we are seeing and a brief description:

  1. Publishers Clearing House – This scam utilizes a known prize company to entice the victim into thinking they have won a substantial prize (money/car/etc.). The suspect tells the victim they have won a prize and to receive the prize they must pay the taxes. The suspect will drag out the delays to get as much money as they can from the victim before someone steps in or the victim realizes that it’s a scam.
  2. If you have won a money prize, the taxes can be taken before delivery just like the lottery.
  3. If you have won a car or other prize, then payment can be made upon delivery.
  4. Gift Card Scams – This scam is usually a phone scam in which they keep the victim on the phone for some account issue, computer issue, investment opportunity, or troubled family member issue. The suspect gets the victim to stay on the phone while they go and retrieve multiple different gift cards or loadable money cards. The suspect will get the victim to either send pictures of the card information or just tell them over the phone. Once they have the information the money is gone. The suspects have been known to continually call after the initial scam to see if they can get more money. The suspect almost always tells the victim not to contact anyone.
  5. No legitimate business, government entity, or investment firm takes payments in that manner.
  6. If someone does not want you to get off the phone for any reason during this request it is because they do not want you verifying the story. Just hang up.
  7. Romance Scam – This scam generally starts online and eventually moves from the original website to other forms of direct messaging. The suspect will contact the victim on potentially any number of websites and not necessarily a known dating website. These scams usually drag on for weeks and months before the money request ever comes. The suspect uses information during the grooming period to find an angle to exploit from the victim. The suspect will always have a reason why they can’t meet (overseas, military, etc.). The money acquisition will always be electronic (Pay services, wire transfers, etc.).
  8. Never send money to people you have not met that claim you’re dating.
  9. Any request for money/story should be questioned and verified by someone you know before sending.
  10. Rental House Scam – This scam involves the suspect posting a house for rent on social media websites or buy/sell websites that is a legitimate listing somewhere else. The suspect will pose as the property owner or leasing company. The suspect will collect the usual first/last/deposit. The suspect will even send you a lease agreement.
  11. Before leasing any property, drive by and call the number on the for rent sign.
  12. Leasing services use digital lock services that allow entry with a code to legitimate renters so just having access does not mean the suspect has rent authorization.
  13. Warrant Scam – The scam involves the suspect calling the victim posing as some form of law enforcement. The suspect will give a name/badge number and may even spoof the agency phone number to appear legit. The suspect will tell the victim they have a warrant for missing court, jury duty, etc.
  14. Law enforcement will never collect money to circumvent the warrant process.
  15. If you have a warrant, law enforcement on an any level City, County, State, Federal government will come get you.
  16. Third Party Shipper – The scam starts as what appears to be a legitimate work from home job. The suspect will make contact through job websites or other social media. The suspect may conduct interviews and send you typical employment paperwork. The suspect will set the victim up on a fake portal to track the shipments. The victim will be required to receive packages all that will be listed in someone else’s name. They will be told not to open the packages but to just repackage them and ship them out to somewhere else. The victim will be told that they are on a thirty day probation and will receive their first paycheck once that is completed.
  17. The first paycheck never comes.
  18. All of the packages have been purchased with stolen funds.
  19. The suspect may eventually use you to essentially launder money using the same process.
  20. All of the crime information will come back to the victim making them responsible.
  21. The victim is usually out of any money they used to buy the computer, supplies, etc. they purchased to start the job.
  22. The victim can be charged if they are notified of the scam and continue to ship items.
  23. Refund Scam – The suspect will contact a victim claiming that they were refunded money for some purchase or by accident and that they are requesting a refund of the correct amount. The suspect will request access to your computer or bank account to help process the refund.
  24. Never give anyone you do not know remote access to your computer or bank account.
  25. Verify that the money went into your account and not just transferred from another account you own.
  26. If a legitimate business transferred money into your account, they could certainly transfer it back out through a bank-to-bank request.
  27. Family Member Injured/Arrested Scam – They suspect will call posing as a lawyer, bonding company, or law enforcement claiming a family member has been arrested or injured requiring money to avoid being charged.
  28. Verify with the agency independently that the suspect claims that has your family member.
  29. Verify with other family and friends before doing anything.
  30. Never send or give over any money to anyone until the issue can be identified.
  31. Verify Everything – These scammers are very good at their job. Call and verify their story with someone that you know should know and not someone they give you to call.
  32. Question Everything If it sounds too good or if something seems off, it probably is a scam.

Knox County Sheriff's Office

Social Media and Recent Posts

Recent Posts

Follow Us on Facebook

Hear From Us on Twitter

See Us on Instagram

[fts_instagram instagram_id=17841405879716981 access_token=IGQVJWTk1GZA1diVEwyOTVzcXZARakZAEZA2dXN09lUDkxekZA1S18wajFSV2FsSjU4ZAENIRlZAfZAlhUV3dVejRPMGFfOTFUdlc3dXgxZAUk0a1lwbWNWMEpuM2hCLUFWSmZAwMXdTQ2JPdTVR pics_count=10 type=basic super_gallery=yes columns=3 force_columns=no space_between_photos=1px icon_size=65px hide_date_likes_comments=no]

Sign up for the KCSO News Room