Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery has issued a scam alert for fraudulent activity reported to be taking place in the area.
In a news release, Montgomery says two separate incidents have been reported within the past week stating someone has been going door-to-door in the Mountain Home area pretending to be a representative from the government or a contractor for a government agency, such as a state agency, and trying to obtain personal identifying information from residents.
One complaint involved someone pretending to be conducting a survey concerning alcohol and tobacco use and asking the homeowner for a Social Security number and other personal identifying information. Montgomery says there is no legitimate reason why any information of that kind would be asked for or needed by legitimate survey takers.
The sheriff adds as law enforcement has cautioned many times in the past, people are strongly encouraged to not provide and not to verify any personal identifying information to unknown and unconfirmed sources, either in person, by phone, by email, through social media, or by other means of communication.
This includes Social Security numbers, dates of birth, physical or mailing addresses, telephone numbers, license numbers, names of family members, or anything else that could be used to verify a person’s identity. Giving out this information can result in identify theft and fraudulent financial activities undertaken in someone’s name without his or her knowledge, which can be very costly and difficult to try to reverse, Montgomery says.
If someone has any doubt at all about the authenticity of a person going door-to-door soliciting information, tell them nothing, get a careful look at the person’s description, clothing, and vehicle involved, if any, and report it immediately to your local law enforcement agency, Montgomery advises. He says authorities will try to locate them, identify them and find out exactly what they are doing.
Montgomery encourages citizens to remain vigilant and protect their personal information.
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