Sheriff warns of scam
Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel is alerting area residents about a phone campaign which is fraudulently using the name of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association in its solicitation.
Harvel emphasized in a news release that the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association never solicits by phone.
The association does conduct a direct mail campaign throughout the State of Illinois which is endorsed by the individual sheriff’s offices across Illinois.
Telemarketing fraud costs billions of dollars each year. Phone solicitors typically want their victims to “act immediately” or are offering a “too good to be true” opportunity.
“Remember that if you have any doubts, or are highly pressured, just hang up,” the sheriff advised.
The Illinois Sheriff’s Association also provides tips for those who may receive such a call.
You have the right to ask for the following information:
The name, address and phone number of the organization for which they are soliciting.
The name, address and phone number of the telemarketing firm.
The percentage of every dollar paid to the telemarketing firm.
Insist on something in writing prior to making a pledge or commitment.
If you cannot get the answers to these questions, do not hesitate to hang up the phone.
The sheriffs’ association noted that while there are some legitimate organizations that use telemarketers for their fund-raising efforts, the sheriffs of Illinois, through the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, are adamantly opposed to police groups and associations using telemarketers in their fundraising efforts.
The sheriff also advised local residents to never give out personal information over the phone or on the internet unless they have initiated the contact. Legitimate business callers will never ask someone to give this information over the phone.
If a caller asks you to pay for an offer in advance, or asks for a credit card number or Social Security number, tell the caller that you do not give out personal information over the telephone.