Scams presentation at Senior Expo
The Minot Police Department, Crime Prevention Unit frequently receives requests for information on frauds and scams that we are made aware of affecting our community. In response, we have created a presentation that is frequently updated to share what methods scammers are using in the region. In the last five years, reported cases of scams and fraud have generally seen a steady to slightly downward trend, while identity theft related cases have seen a sharper increase with 2019 continuing the upward trend. Unfortunately, we are sadly aware that these numbers don’t paint as accurate a picture of the problem that exists in and around the Magic City. All too often people decline to report being scammed due to embarrassment or fear. Victims of identity theft are also frequently unaware of their victimization until they stumble across strange entries on their credit reports or are contacted by collections agencies for non-payment of loans or services they never applied for.
While victims of scams, fraud, and identity theft are most often from our elderly population, anyone can become a victim. The Minot Police Department, depending on the type of scam, has received complaints from people as young as 16 but also frequently hears from people in their 20s and 30s, as well as folks in middle age. Still, since we most frequently are asked to speak with area seniors we like to enlist their help in battling this crime by asking them to share what they’ve learned with their families, clubs, places of worship, etc. We also not only encourage folks who have fallen victim to file a report with law enforcement, but if someone recognizes scam or fraud attempts that they didn’t fall for, to share that with the Crime Prevention Unit so we can minimize the effectiveness of new methods the perpetrators use against folks in our community. Just like addressing any other crime affecting our area, a whole-community response is always the best way to fight back.