Phone scams on the upswing

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

On June 20, members of the Barry-Lawrence Chapter of Crime Stoppers met with law enforcement partners to discuss various criminal activities being reported in the bi-county area.

Monett Police Chief Tim Schweder reported receiving an anonymous tip regarding the whereabouts of a wanted felon and rec-ommended a $50 reward.

In Purdy, Police Chief Jackie Lowe reported quite a bit of vandalism occur-ring, attributing it to "bored kids."

Lowe also reported a resurgence of scam phone calls, telling area residents they have won an overseas lottery, requiring them to send $7,000 to receive the winnings.

"We warn citizens against sending money to claim any kind of prize or lottery winnings," Lowe said. "If it costs money to get your prize or winnings, it's a scam."

Jay Jastal, Monett's school resource officer, also reported an upswing in the number of phone scammers directing resi-dents to purchase a "green dot" pre-paid MasterCard or Visa card in order to claim their "winnings."

"Those cards are un-traceable once purchased," Jastal said. "We recom-mend residents give out no information and pay these scammers no money."

Jastal said the perma-nent drug take back box, located in the Monett Po-lice Department lobby, is doing well, but again cau-tioned people not to drop syringes or glass containers in the receptacle.

"We also had one indi-vidual stuff their traffic ticket and fine payment into the box," Jastal said. "That's not a good idea. Those types of payments may be overlooked and people might find them-selves in deeper trouble for not paying their fines."

Crime Stoppers mem-bers are still in the process of organizing another branding demonstration for cattle producers in Barry County. The matter was tabled until more informa-tion is available.

The next meeting of the Barry-Lawrence Chap-ter of Crime Stoppers will be at noon on Thursday, July 18 at Angus Branch Restaurant, formerly Grant's Restaurant, on Highway 60 in Monett. All members and area law en-forcement partners are urged to attend.

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