Welcome to the Veazie Police Department’s website! Our staff provides full-time professional police services to a town of approximately 2000 residents, nestled between the City of Bangor to the south and the Town of Orono to the north. Our website is designed to provide you with important information about the department, its services to the community and news events throughout the town. We welcome and encourage feedback from the public with any suggestions, comments, questions or concerns you may have regarding the Veazie Police Department. Contact information for each member of our department is located under the STAFF tab on the top menu bar of the website. Thank you for visiting!
Sep 20 2019
Sep 20 2019
Criminals Host Fake Government Services Web Sites to Acquire Personally Identifiable Information and to Collect Fraudulent Fees
From May 2012 to March 2015, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received complaints regarding criminals hosting fraudulent government services websites in order to acquire Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and to collect fraudulent fees from consumers.
Although the volume and loss amounts associated with these websites are minimal to date, the victims are having their PII data compromised which may be used by criminals for any number of other illicit activities, ranging from the creation of fraudulent IDs and passports to fraudulent loans and tax refunds. The PII can include the victim’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address, social security number, date of birth, and mother’s maiden name.
This is how the scheme usually happens: victims use a search engine to search for government services such as obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or replacement social security card. The fraudulent criminal websites are the first to appear in search results, prompting the victims to click on the fraudulent government services website. The victim completes the required fraudulently posted forms for the government service they need. The victim submits the form online, believing they are providing their PII to government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, or similar agency based on the service they need. Once the forms are completed and submitted, the fraudulent website usually requires a fee to complete the service requested. The fees typically range from $29 to $199 based on the government service requested. Once the fees are paid the victim is notified they need to send their birth certificate, driver’s license, employee badge, or other personal items to a specified address. The victim is then told to wait a few days to several weeks for processing. By the time the victim realizes it is a scam, they may have had extra charges billed to their credit/debit card, had a third-party designee added to their EIN card, and never received the service(s) or documents requested. Additionally, all of their PII data has been compromised by the criminals running the websites and can be used for any number of illicit purposes. The potential harm gets worse for those who send their birth certificate or other government-issued identification to the perpetrator.
Follow-up calls or e-mails to the perpetrator(s) are normally ignored and many victims report the customer service telephone numbers provided are out of service. The FBI recommends that consumers ensure they are communicating or requesting services/merchandise from a legitimate source by verifying the entity. When dealing with government websites, look for the .gov domain instead of a .com domain (e.g. www.ssa.gov and not www.ssa.com).
Below are some consumer tips when using government services or contacting agencies online:
- Use search engines or other websites to research the advertised services or person/company you plan to deal with.
- Search the Internet for any negative feedback or reviews on the government services company, their Web site, their e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, or other searchable identifiers.
- Research the company policies before completing a transaction.
- Be cautious when surfing the Internet or responding to advertisements and special offers.
- Be cautious when dealing with persons/companies from outside the country.
- Maintain records for all online transactions.
As a consumer, if you suspect you are a victim of an Internet-related crime, you may file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.
Sep 03 2019
Attorney General warns Mainers to be suspicious of callers demanding immediate payment of a debt by pre-paid debit cards or other cash transfers
(AUGUSTA) Attorney General Janet T. Mills reports that her Office has received many recent reports of aggressive calls from scammers demanding immediate payments on supposed debts. The common thread among the scammers is that they attempt to get you to make a payment by wire transfer or pre-paid debit card. Mainers should be very suspicious of anyone calling out of the blue and demanding an immediate payment of a debt, especially if they require that payment by any reloadable cash cards such as Green Dot Money Pak or a wire service like Western Union.
“The names and the details of the scams vary,” Attorney General Mills said. “Typically the caller pretends they are from a business that you know and are attempting to collect an old debt. Perhaps they say you have won a lottery. Sometimes they even claim to be from the state or federal government. The caller has just enough information about you that you believe they are legitimate. The red flag, however, is that they want you to make an instant payment with a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. This is how you know you are getting scammed. Hang up the phone immediately.”
In this information age, a scammer can glean a lot of information about a person from the internet. They may also have coupled that information with private personal or financial data from an illegal data breach. The result is that the scammer can be very convincing when they call you out of the blue and catch you off guard.
“No legitimate business, governmental entity or genuine debt collection agency is going to call you without having first sent you mail. They will not demand an immediate payment. They will not require that you wire cash or use a pre-paid debit card service, and they will not threaten you with arrest if you do not comply,” said Attorney General Mills. “These are all the red flags of a scam artist.”
One Maine resident recently recorded his interaction with a scammer claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. His call illustrates several tactics used by phone scammers. They claimed to be from an entity that the target is familiar with and who he has the potential to owe money to. When challenged about his authenticity, the scammer tried to reassure the target by giving a badge number in order to sound official. And finally, the payment could only be made by “Green Dot Money Pak,” available at places like Walmart or drug store chains, and not by other typical means. The scammers are also not easily dissuaded; different people called repeatedly making the same claims in order to make him think they were legitimate.
Green Dot Money Pak is one brand name of a service people can use instead of a bank account to store cash; though there are many other companies who offer similar services. It looks like and can be used like a typical debit or credit card at cash registers or ATMs. These cards can be obtained by purchasing one at a store and loading it with funds. Each card has a unique account number. Scammers will get you to load your cash onto the card account and then have you read them the account number over the phone. They then withdraw your cash from the account from anywhere in the world, virtually untraceable.
The IRS has warned people about scams like this and the FTC has a website with information about the IRS scam and other common phone scams like the foreign lottery, extended car warranties or charitable causes.
“The best advice to Mainers is to be very suspicious of anyone calling you and demanding an immediate payment,” said Attorney General Mills. “When in doubt, hang up the phone. If you have questions, call the entity they claimed to be from to see if you have a debt to pay and never, ever make a payment over the phone.”
Maine consumers who have questions about phone scams or other consumer protection matters can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division: 1-800-436-2131 or email: consumer.mediation@Maine.gov .