BUCKHANNON — The Buckhannon Detachment of the West Virginia State Police is requesting your help to fight scams that are currently plaguing the community. Local law enforcement wants you to be aware that a couple scams are happening once again, and what to do if you or someone you know is targeted. Scams related to bail money and the Publishers Clearing House seem to be most common at the present time.
Cpl. V.J. Pyles said, “We have been getting multiple calls from individuals throughout Upshur County regarding a bail scam and the loss of money that results from it.” According to Cpl. Pyles, older citizens in particular are being targeted. “The caller advises that you have warrants and need to pay a bond by purchasing gift cards. The callers urge the victim not to contact anyone, family, law enforcement, etc. Once the money is obtained on gift cards, the victim is asked to give the numbers to the caller. Once this occurs, the money is usually gone, and cannot, in most cases be regained,” he explained. “Scammers are also advising that a family member is in jail in another state and they need bailed out. This scam has been successfully used multiple times with thousands of dollars lost by elderly individuals and others.”
Cpl. Pyles also assured that law enforcement will not contact a person regarding the payment of bond in any case. He stated, “The WVSP will not take payment for bond, only the court/bonding agency will do so.” Pyles urged citizens to never send money over the phone or by mail to anyone they do not know.
The Publishers Clearing House scam is making its way around again as well, according to Pyles. “PCH will not call winners. Period,” he emphasized. “If you are asked to pay money to win money, you are being scammed.”
If you have encountered these scams or any others, please contact your local law enforcement agency or the WVSP Buckhannon Detachment at (304) 473-4200.