Wood County Sheriff Scam 03/26/2014

Authorities are warning Wood County residents and businesses to be on the alert for scammers claiming to be with law enforcement agencies.

A local business contacted the Wood County Sheriff’s Department and said someone had called the business identifying himself as a member of the Sheriff’s Department, according to a department news release.

The caller requested a specific person at the business and, when told the person wasn’t available, left a message to contact “officer Alfred Reed at State Investigations,” with a contact number of 215-469-4908, according to the release.

The name and number has been associated with numerous scams throughout the United States during the past several years, according to the release. The callers claim to be from law enforcement agencies, the FBI, well-known law firms or other legitimate state or federal agencies.

The callers claim the person they are looking to speak with is delinquent on a cash advance type loan and the callers are attempting to collect for legitimate companies, according to the release. The callers often have accurate data about the intended victims, including Social Security numbers, date of birth, address, employer information, bank account numbers and names and phone numbers of friends.

At times, the scammers will begin repeatedly calling the victim’s home, cellphone or employer. They will not provide details about the alleged loans and tend to become abusive if asked for information. The callers have threatened legal action, arrest and, in some cases, physical violence, if the victim does not pay. In many cases, the callers harass the victim’s relatives, friends and employers as well. The callers try to get the victim to obtain a pre-paid debit card or gift card and provide the numbers to the caller over the phone.

Authorities advise anyone who received the calls not to follow the caller’s instructions. Instead, intended victims should notify their banking institutions, contact the three major credit bureaus and put an alert on their file, contact local law enforcement about any immediate danger and file a complaint at

To avoid becoming a victim of this scam, never give out Social Security numbers or personal information of any kind over the telephone or online unless initiating the contact, be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for personal financial information, avoid filling out forms in email messages requesting personal information, ensure that Internet browser is up to date and security patches are applied and check bank, credit and debit card statements regularly.

If someone calls claiming to be a member of a lawn enforcement agency, ask to hang up and call back, checking the number with the known agency number.


Target Breach

Target said about 40 million credit card and debit card accounts were compromised in a 19-day data breach starting the day before Thanksgiving of 2013.

The retailer said the breach lasted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15, included the consumer's name, credit card and debit card numbers, the card's expiration date and the three-digit security card security code. Only customers who shopped in actual stores were affected; online customers were not. Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said there are no indications that debit card personal identification numbers, or PINs, were accessed.

The Stratford State Bank notified the customers that were affected and replacement cards were issued.


Debit Card Fraud

Police discovered a debit card scam on October 12, 2009 that targeted shoppers at Hancock Fabrics in Stevens Point and Marshfield. Unauthorized transactions were made using account information at ATMs in the Milwaukee area.  If you have used your debit card at these locations, please give us a call and we will re-issue you a new debit card and pin number.


E-mail scam targets Stratford State Bank

On November 3rd, 2008, we received information that numerous people were receiving fraudulent e-mails trying to trick them into disclosing credit card or debit card information.  The e-mail states that you have a new security message.   Once you click on the link, it takes you to a website that claims to be the Stratford State Bank.  Don't be fooled, the site even has our picture and logo.   At this time, the fraudulent site has been closed, but there may be more sites like this out there.

The Stratford State Bank will not ask for any personal information through an e-mail.  If you receive an e-mail like this, DO NOT FOLLOW THEIR INSTRUCTIONS.   If you have responded to an e-mail like this and provided confidential information, please notify the Stratford State Bank at 715-687-2411 IMMEDIATELY.

Before you give personal information to anyone, please make sure you know who you are giving it to.