Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol wants the public to know that they are not asking people for money.  If someone claims to be from his office and asks for money, Sheriff Maciol wants to know about it.

Yet another scam has emerged just in time for the holiday season.  Scammers call residents and identify themselves as law enforcement and say that the resident has missed a jury summons, or did not pay a fine.  They ask for money and then say that there will be jail time if the money is not paid.

In a written release from Deputy Brian Warcup the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office says, “We urge everyone again, please be careful with giving out personal information as these people may sound authentic and know certain details about you to make you think they are legitimate, and if you feel it may be a scam or are not comfortable giving personal information over the phone, ask the caller for a name, a phone number, the address they are calling from, and tell them you want to check with someone before going any further and that you will call them back.”

Although they do execute and accept payments, Maciol says these are always the result of a court action, and these are handled by the Civil Division, not the Sheriff’s Office.  When in doubt, Maciol says, call the Sheriff’s Office or other law enforcement agency.   “Again,” the Sheriff says, “this is not the way police agencies operate.”

In the past month alone WIBX has reported on at least four new scams, or scams being re-worked throughout Central New York.  Calls are deceptive because, through technology, the scammers can often make the call appear to be from the local area, with a 315 area code, or with one that matches the recipient’s number.  Callers may also know one or two facts about the person on the other end of the telephone, making the call – and the caller’s claims – seem legitimate.  Police agencies expect residents to call if they have questions to avoid being scammed.


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11 Ways to Avoid Getting Ripped Off When Holiday Shopping Online

The world-wide shipping delays have shoppers buying holiday gifts early this year and much of the commerce is happening online. After all, how can you avoid the amazing deals? Now more than ever, these amazing deals are shady transactions that look authentic and safe.

One way to shop safely online is to buy from local vendor websites, or visit sites like Etsy which touts small meaningful gifts, often times created by small businesses and crafters.

The Better Business Bureau recommends online buyers do research before they click the checkout button.

Here are 11 things you can do to avoid getting ripped off online, according to the Better Business Bureau.

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