Awareness saves advertiser from scam


January 31, 2018

After a Valley resident was nearly the victim of a scam involving an advertisement in the classified section of an online edition of the Saratoga Sun, Police Chief Robert Bifano wants to remind people to be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true.

“As long as you pay attention, you can usually see the scams as they are coming,” Bifano said.

The Saratoga Sun was made aware of the most recent scam by Bifano on Friday, Jan. 26. The potential victim of the scheme had been negotiating the sale of an item, but was sent a check for an amount more than the item had been listed for. They were then asked to deposit the check into their account and wire the extra amount via Western Union. Instead of following the instructions of the scammer, the person took the check to the Saratoga Police Department and spoke with Bifano.

According to Bifano, all the phone numbers that had been used in the most recent scam were not legitimate. Upon trying to call one of the numbers, which appeared to be a Union Wireless number, he discovered that the number was not set up to take calls–A key indicator that a number is often computer generated.

“If a person has doubts about a phone number, they can always do a Google search. If it has been used enough, they can find websites where people have been scammed by the same number,” said Bifano.

Bifano encourages anyone who believes someone may be trying to scam them to visit the Saratoga Police Department at 111 E Spring Ave. in Saratoga or call 307-326-8316.


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