Beware of scammers claiming to be state police

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association is advising all Illinois county residents that there is currently underway a phone campaign fraudulently using the name and phone numbers of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association. The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association never solicits by phone but does conduct a direct mail campaign throughout the state of Illinois endorsed by the individual sheriffs across Illinois. This mail piece goes out in February each year.

Telemarketing fraud costs billions of dollars each year. Phone solicitors who want you to “act immediately” or are offering a “too good to be true” opportunity are most likely fraudulent. Remember that if you have any doubts or are highly pressured – just hang up.

You have the right to ask for the following information: the name, address and phone number of the organization for which they are soliciting; the name, address and phone number of the telemarketing firm; the percentage of every dollar paid to the telemarketing firm; insist on something in writing prior to making a pledge or commitment.

If you cannot get the answers to these questions do not hesitate to hang up the phone. After all, it is your money.

For more information, please see this week’s print edition.