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Relative in trouble or a scam? Wyoming Police say beware! | News

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Relative in trouble or a scam? Wyoming Police say beware!
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WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) -- Local police agencies are warning people about a scam going around West Michigan.

Wyoming Police and the Metropolitan Fraud and Identity Theft Team (MFITT), a multijurisdictional law enforcement group, says a number victims have come forward saying they wired money to someone posing to be a family member in trouble.  They claim to be in legal trouble in another state or country.

Authorities say after the second or third transaction, the victims realized that they have been swindled. 

There were several similarities in all of the frauds reported to MFITT:

1. There was a sense of urgency.
2. Keep the situation a secret from other family members.
3. The relative was involved in a serious incident (e.g., accident, arrest).
4. The victims were asked to wire funds to a location out of the state or country.

Here are a few tips to avoid becoming a victim of this scam:

1. Do not volunteer or release information to the caller without confirming the individual's identity. This can be done by asking personal questions about their past, special occasions or events in their lives.
2. Verify the location of the caller. Ask the caller for his/her number and call them back. Ask for the zip code of their location. Look up the area code.
3. Do not respond to unsolicited emails of this nature.

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