Taking a stand against scams

Heartland law enforcement wants you to be aware of scams and identity theft.

Macon County Sheriff Robert Dawson and those in his office have been dealing with several scam cases in the past few weeks.

The most common he is seeing is someone getting a call or email saying they won the lottery and have to pay cash on the taxes in order to get the money.

Another one is the grandparents scam in which someone calls posing as the victim's grandchild, saying the grandchild is in trouble and needs money.

Sheriff Dawson says he is concerned about the growing number of scams and victims. He advises you to protect yourself.

"One of the main things is don't give anybody that you're not sure who you are talking to is don't give them any personal information such as your social security number, date of birth, bank account numbers or anything like that," Dawson said.

Sheriff Dawson warns you not to be fooled by regular mail, either. he has dealt with several cases in which fake checks have been mailed to people asking to cash them.

Dawson says it's hard to find out who these people are. .

"It's very difficult for law enforcement to investigate because a lot of it originates from foreign countries. You get a phone call and you don't know where it's coming from. They also may be calling from a temporary phone bank from somewhere or may change locations every week," Dawson said.

If you happen to fall into a scam, or are unsure if a deal is legitimate, the best thing to do is contact your local law enforcement agency.