SIKESTON - The Sikeston Department of Public Safety is warning the public about a telephone scam.
According to DPS Director Drew Juden, the scam artist will call and inform a resident that he or she has won a "grant." The perpetrator then asks for bank account information so the "grant" money can be deposited into the account.
"The caller will be persistent and may overwhelm you with loads of information," Juden said.
"The plan is just a small spin-off of the 'you have won the lottery' scam," Juden noted. "All scams rely on the principle of keeping a subject to focus on a possible reward (money) and not on what the target is," which includes banking information, the resident's money and identity.
"If something seems to good to be true, please question every aspect of the situation," he cautioned. "Never give out your personal information to anyone that you are not positive who they are and who they represent."
Juden added another good rule-of-thumb is: "If you don't remember doing something, like applying for a grant or playing the Canadian lottery, be suspicious."
Don't give out any information, but get all the information you can. "Once you have the information, please contact your local police agency immediately," he advised. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
DPS has not been notified of any local victims of this scam. "If you are a victim, please report this immediately to DPS" at 471-6200 or 471-4711.
All information given to DPS will remain confidential.
Scams can also be reported to the office of Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon toll-free at 1-800-392-8222; or the National Fraud Information Hotline at 1-800-876-7060.