top of page
Typing on a Computer

Scams

& Fraud

  • $10.3 Billion in losses due to scams and fraud annually in the United States.

  • 800,944 complaints filed with the FBI in 2022 alone.

  • The greatest dollar loss was incurred by citizens aged 60 and older.

What is a con artist?

A con artist is a person who cheats or tricks others by persuading them to believe something that is not true.

What is Fraud?

Fraud is a wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.

What is a scam?

A scam is a clever and dishonest plan for making money or a means to cheat somebody in order to get something, especially money, from them.

In short, a well-crafted scam is a scenario meant to fit a real-life situation.  This is coupled with a sense of urgency.  Therefore, the false scenarios presented to victims seem plausible, thus making them very believable. 

While there are dozens of popular scam types, below are some of the most common Bradley County citizens have experienced.

Most common types of scams and fraud

Untitled design (26).png

Fine/Warrant Scam

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Fine/warrant scam is where you receive a phone call requesting you pay a fine over the phone or risk having a warrant issued for your arrest. Sometimes, the scammer will use real officer's names. No law enforcement agency will ever call you for payment over the phone.

Other examples are where the caller states you missed jury duty and now must pay fines.

 

Do not pay them.  Call our non-emergency number 423-728-7311 and a Deputy will assist you.

Untitled design (37).png

Do Me a Favor Scam

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Do me a favor scams are usually where an individual befriends you or poses as someone you know and askes you to cash a check for them and in return, you can keep a portion of the cash as long as you send them the rest electronically. 

This can include gift cards, wire transfers, and checks/money orders. 

If you suspect this is happening, do not send the money or cash any checks. Contact or non-emergency number 423-728-7311 for assistance.

Untitled design (28).png

Job Scam

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Help wanted scams are usually jobs posted on legitimate websites, but are not real jobs. 

Scammers will not use a company email address, poor grammar is sometimes used, interviews will solely be online (email or chat), salaries will be outside the industry norms, and they will request personal banking information.

Employers will never ask you to pay them a fee, nor will they front you pay prior to employment. Call our non-emergency number for assistance 423-728-7311

Untitled design (36)_edited_edited.png

Sweepstakes Scam

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

YOU'VE WON! 

Enter to win scams will usually start off in this manner. 

After being notified that you have won, a small processing fee will be requested. Sometimes, the scammer will ask for you financial information as well. Do not give your information or pay the fee!  

 

If you suspect you are being scammed, call our non-emergency number 423-728-7311 for assistance. 

Digital Payment

E Commerce Scam

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

E-commerce scams usually involve online transactions. 

Victims of e-commerce scams are often lured by the unbelievable price for an item up for sale.  The item may be listed on a fake website or even a legitimate social media platform. On social media, a seller will require a "deposit" (payment) to hold an item prior to meeting or may claim pre-payment is required for "delivery". 

 

If you cannot verify any information, do not purchase the item. 

Untitled design (35).png

Phishing Scam

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Phishing scams target victims by asking for personal identifying information such as social security number, mother's maiden name, city where you were born, and previous addresses to name a few. 

This information can be gathered  through official looking emails, phone calls, and even social media posts viewed by the public.

Do not answer these types of questions, contact our non-emergency number 423-728-7311 and a Deputy will assist you.

How to avoid scams

Don't be hasty.

Scammers usually request that you do something NOW! Take time to verify the information before doing anything. Do not be afraid to tell them wait. Do your research before you doing anything or making a decision! Think about contacting the Better Business Bureau also to see if there are any complaints (see link below). 

Delete old online accounts and apps that are not being used.

Information on these sites could have been subjected to data breaches. Old and unused online accounts can be used as click bait for an unsuspecting victim to give scammers their password information. Deleting old and unused online accounts will lower your risk of being scammed.

Don't share your personal information or passwords.

Edit privacy settings on social media, do not fill out survey style posts or quizzes that are usually asking security type questions (favorite color, first vacation, first pet's name...). Change passwords regularly and do not use common phrases or recycled passwords.

Stay updated!

Allow your electronic devices to update automatically; this includes all apps you have installed as well as anti-virus software on your computer. Passwords also need to be updated regularly. Updating your password regularly and utilizing a mixture of characters, numbers, and letters aids in safeguarding your information.

Strong password example: !2d%H5iD18$ (THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE.  DO NOT USE THIS EXACT PASSWORD)

Utilize Dual factor authentication.

Dual factor authentication adds an extra layer of security that prevents anyone from accessing your accounts, even if they have the password. Never give out your verification code when utilizing a dual or multi factor authentication app.

Always use secure payment methods.

Always use a secure payment method that offers fraud protection for all transactions (i.e. credit cards or PayPal...) Avoid using debit cards or checking/savings account information to pay anything online. Never pay with cryptocurrency. Look for the lock symbol next to the URL, this means there is a secure connection and you can click on the lock for site information (cookies, web tracking, and secure status).

Stay away from suspicious emails, links, and texts.

Scammers will often embed spyware or malware within an email attachment or link. Do not open them. Text links are another way that scammers attempt to solicit money from their victims. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Know what is on your credit report.

Checking your credit report is one of the best ways to make sure no one is using your information to illegally obtain credit accounts in your name. Contacting the credit reporting agencies directly (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) or using www.freecreditreport.com are the best was to monitor your credit.

Do not cash checks for people you don't know.

Scammers will often send checks in the mail as part of an agreement that look legitimate, asking you to cash them and send a portion of the money back to them.  Don't do it!

Know who you are talking to.

People posing as a friend or family member will ask you to send them money. Verify it is actually that person by calling them on the phone or meeting them in person before sending any money. These scams are often conducted through social media.

See Useful Links below for other information and resources.

Typing on a Computer

Am I a victim of a scam? 
What should I do?

When do I need a Police Report?

Victims are people who have suffered identity theft or individuals who have suffered a financial loss due to a scam or fraud.

If you have suffered a financial loss or identity theft due to a scam or fraud, report the incident immediately.  Don't wait. 

 

Follow the steps below:

1

Police Report

If you have no financial loss or identity theft, skip to step 2. If you are a victim of a financial loss as a result of a scam or fraud, start by filing an incident report. While local agencies do not have jurisdiction over the internet, reporting the incident will inform us that a trend may be starting in the area and it gives us the ability to warn others of what to look out for. Victims in Bradley County can call our non-emergency number 423-728-7311 for immediate response by a Deputy or, click the tab below so that a Deputy may assist you at a time more convenient for you. After you make contact with the Deputy, move on to step 2.

2

Internet Crime Complaint

Scams and fraud that are committed by criminals remotely (not in person) should be reported to the FBI's Internet Crimes Complaint Center. This website is full of useful information and helpful links that aid in educating citizens. Click the button below to file your complaint. When the web page appears, you will see a red tab to the right side of the screen that says "File a Complaint", click there to begin. If the scam or fraud is through the mail, proceed to step 3 after you are finished.

3

Mail Scam/Fraud

If you have been scammed through the United States Postal Service (the Mail not UPS or FED-EX), had your mail stolen, or suspect identity theft, click the button below to file a report. They have numerous links on their page with resources to assist you. Some of these links include reporting methods, tips & prevention and recent news stories about mail related issues. If you are interested in seeing what mail is coming to your address before if is delivered, a link will be listed below for the USPS Informed Delivery system. It is a valuable tool in combating mail and identity theft. 

Useful Links

AARP Scam & Fraud Alerts

USPS Informed Delivery

Free Credit Report

Better Business Bureau

Social Security Administration

TennCare Fraud

bottom of page