Press Release - State to mobilize against fraud
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Author:  admin [ Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:25 am ]
Post subject:  Press Release - State to mobilize against fraud ... PR_Num=717

Citizens Urged to Report Scam Missives; Submit Documents, Emails to Authorities

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) in collaboration with several public and private partners announced today an effort to enforce direct mail, email and phone fraud. Each year such “foreign lottery and sweepstakes” scams result in $8–10 million in losses to Minnesotans — an amount that officials claim is low due to under-reporting. Officials say this is the first model of a statewide coordinated, sustained fraud enforcement effort in the U.S.

There are many variations of these frauds but in most cases a potential victim is asked to send money to claim a prize or to be entered into a drawing. These scams include emails that are purportedly from a party in a foreign country. Senior citizens are a common target.

“These frauds are devastating, and the people behind them will stop at nothing to con vulnerable citizens,” says John Willems, special agent in-charge of the state’s Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division. “It’s critical Minnesotans recognize and report these frauds so authorities can track down the offenders.”

Willems says the campaign’s partners will play a critical role to raise awareness about fraud to their communities and customers. These groups will secure fraud reports and input information into a law enforcement-accessible database. Technological enforcement tactics will be employed to disrupt fraudulent communication activities to shut down phone lines and email addresses.

Officials urge citizens who receive fraudulent letters, emails or phone calls to report them quickly by calling the Minnesota Board of Aging LinkAge line, 1-800-333-2433 — or notify law enforcement. Fraudulent emails should be forwarded to Citizens are asked to send original fraudulent documents to the DPS Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division, 444 Cedar St., Ste. 133, St. Paul, MN 55101. Agents will work with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to follow mail flow. DPS and law enforcement agencies will also review fraud trends to detect if scam activities are occurring in specific areas of the state.

Fraud enforcement campaign partners include: BCA, Minnesota State Lottery, AARP, Better Business Bureau, Bremer Bank, Minnesota Bankers Association, Minnesota Board of Aging, Minnesota Credit Union Network, the state’s Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs associations, and MoneyGram.

Author:  admin [ Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:10 am ]
Post subject: 

Article in the St. Paul, MN paper today on the topic

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