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Stephenville Crime Alert on 09/09

Notice of a Crime Alert Relating to Fraud

The Tarleton State University Police Department has received two reports of persons being victims of fraud. Both of these reports were similar schemes promising employment and/or services for an exchange of funds. This is similar to what is known as an Advance Fee Scheme. One of the victims lived in an on campus residence and one lived in a nearby apartment complex. Please be aware there are individuals who actively seek to scam others. For information related to fraud please see the below Safety Information.

Safety Information

The Five Hooks are taken from the Texas Attorney General’s web site.

Five Hooks: Tell-Tale Signs of a Scam

  1. They contacted you. Think about it. If you look up a business and call to make an order, you know who is on the other end of the deal. With a con artist, all you know is who that person says he or she is. You are already at a huge disadvantage.
  2. They dangle bait in front of you. It is almost always a large sum of money, like a prize or an easy loan, or a large income. It sounds so easy! But we all know that people don't give away large sums of money so easily, or pay large incomes for nothing. Only in daydreams.
  3. They want your personal information. Anytime someone tries to get your bank account number, Social Security Number, or other sensitive information, you should automatically be on red alert. Don't do it.
  4. First, you have to pay them. Don't be blinded by the promise of a large sum of money in the future. If they are asking you to give them money first, back off. It is illegal for someone to require up-front payment before funding a loan or paying out a sweepstakes prize. And real employers don't generally ask new hires to shell out money.
  5. You have to wire or airborne money instead of mailing it. This is your last warning: if you are on the brink of wiring somebody money in order to get a prize or a loan, an inheritance or any other large sum of money, stop! It's a scam, and they are trying to avoid the stiff penalties for mail fraud. You are about to be robbed.

By mail, by phone or face to face, con artists dangle baited hooks in front of honest people every day of the week. It usually begins with an unsolicited contact from a company, individual or organization you never heard of. You do not know who the caller really is. Real lotteries don't call you to say you've won. You don't get grants without applying for them. You don't get easy loans if you have bad credit. Real money is hard to get. It doesn't just come to you. But there are people who would like to take whatever money you have to lose. Don't get hooked!

Additional information may be found at the following:

If someone contacts you and tries to “hook” you into a similar scheme please contact the University Police Department at 968-9002.