Fraud schemes becoming more frequent in Western Mass.

More often, western Massachusetts residents have become the target of schemers.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – More often, western Massachusetts residents have become the target of schemers.

Chicopee Police are warning residents of a bogus letter that was delivered in the mail claiming that the person has won the lottery. It’s really just a way to get your money.

Similar schemes were reported last month by several area police departments. And it’s not just in the mail…your phone is also a tool thieves can use.

The UMass Amherst Police said several employees were called and told their relative was captured and would be hurt if you didn’t give them money.

In North Adams, police were alerting residents to a scheme involving reloadable debit cards.

Even federal government agencies like the IRS are warning of schemers who call you and pretend to be from the IRS.

Joe Dowd of Springfield told 22News his story of almost becoming a victim.

“About a year ago my granddaughter supposedly called me up from jail. But she wasn’t there, she was still in school”, said Dowd. “I could have sworn it was her and I almost feel for the scam and I felt very embarrassed about the whole thing. They wanted me to get a money order and send it down to Nicaragua.”

Christina Pelouze of Wilbraham said, “Its fraud, basically. It would be nice if the attorney general could take action and have it stopped, but it still continues.”

Here are some tips to help you protect yourself.

  • Do not wire any money
  • Do not give out any personal information
  • Do not agree to meet any caller

And try to ask callers probing questions that may help gather information to help police.

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