Police Chief

Ask the Chief

“Ask The Chief” is a weekly post allowing readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in the city of Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance our community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs, and the Department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us. 

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Feb 19

February 10, 2020 - Identifying Scams

Posted on February 19, 2020 at 10:26 AM by Kate Berg

February 10, 2020

Ask the Chief

Q: I was notified that I was a Publishing Clearing House (PCH) contest winner, and a prize of $5.5 million plus a Ford Explorer would arrive as soon as I paid the State taxes on my winnings. Can you identify the top scams reported in Red Wing and what citizens should do if notified by a scammer?

Words "You Ask; We Answer; Submit your questions to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us" with

A: The most reported scams in Red Wing primarily play on an individual's fears or the excitement of receiving large sums of money. They consist of someone saying they have a warrant for your arrest and the caller is from the CIA, FBI or IRS. IRS scams are most prevalent this time of year (tax filing season). Normally, someone calls that you owe previous taxes and you will be arrested unless you pay a specified amount immediately. Another scam that is reported involves the receipt of a large sum of money if you pay the taxes or release fees prior to the money being sent. In this scenario, most prize companies or estate attorneys will withhold the taxes or fees from the total you receive--DO NOT send any money via wire, prepaid credit, or gaming cards. XCEL Energy scams, where the caller threatens to shut off your power if you do not send in a payment immediately, are also reported.

AARP reported that scam attempts increase five times once an individual reaches the age of 60, mostly due to the fact that scammers believe you have retirement funds or home equity available to pay the scams. If you have a warrant for your arrest, you will know about it; unpaid taxes and other unpaid bills will be sent via mail from your provider, and if in doubt, contact the customer service number that is on a previous statement that you know if from a valid vendor. If you receive notice that a long-lost relative left you an estate, beware of reply emails that utilize a gmail.com or other free email option. Most large estate attorneys have a customized email address.

To reduce your chances of being a victim of a scam, have your phone number added to the National Do Not Call List, located at www.donotcall.gov. Also, AARP reported that the longer you stay on the line talking with a potential scammer, the more likely they believe they can convince you to send money, which may get you added to a target list. If you call a number you do not recognize or believe to be a scam, hang up! You can also report attempted scams with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov or via the FBI scam-reporting site, www.ic3.gov/complaint.

If you do suffer a loss, contact the Red Wing Police Department at the non-emergency number 651-385-3155. Please have copies of your contacts, any caller identification numbers, the method of payment you utilized to send the money, and the amount of loss.
Stay Aware, Stay Safe. #RWPD


1. AARP Scams and Frauds, located online at: https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/?intcmp=GLBNAV-SL-MON-CONP
2. Federal Bureau of Investigations Internet Crimes Complaint page, located online at: https://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx
3. Federal Trade Commission, online fraud reporting website, located online at: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1

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