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Latest Telemarketing Fraud Scam Hits Johnson County


Fraud in the form of telemarketing and internet scams is always a problem, and the Johnson County Sheriff's Office is working hard to track down and make others aware of those guilty of the crime in our area.

Wednesday, the Sheriff's Office was dispatched to SE 2 Highway, near Leeton where the reporting party advised that he had received a phone call from a lady reporting that he had won a number of Wal-Mart gift cards. The caller instructed him to go to a specific website on-line so that he could claim them. While the reporting party had the caller on the phone, he did an on-line Google search for the website and found that it had been previously reported as a scam. Upon reporting that information to the caller, she promptly hung up and disconnected the call.

The group associated with this most recent scam is the "Waka Network." Waka first came to law enforcement's attention a few months ago. They are known to call and to text, and it’s almost always the same “prize” they want to offer you – a Wal- Mart gift card. The denomination may vary from $10 to $1000, and occasionally they’re known to offer other prizes such as iPads.

According to on-line reports from other law enforcement agencies, they may tell you that they want to give you a $10 Wal-Mart card, and all they need is some contact information. They will push for you to “go to your computer” to sign on and complete the order. This is where they will attempt to get personal information that you absolutely should not give them. They may also want to "up-sell" you to a $100 Wal-Mart card in exchange for filling out a survey. Either of these cards will eventually require your credit card number and contact information for a “processing” charge such as $2.98. Do not give these people your credit card information! It’s also possible they want you to sign up for a “rewards” program, which will be impossible to complete.

As always, the best practice to keep in mind is "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." If you are suspicious of any sort of telemarketing solicitation, ask the caller for their phone number, and tell them that you will call them back. Many times, the number that they give you will always have a busy signal or a computer voice automated message not allowing you to speak to a "real person." Always keep your personal information safe, secure, and private. If you should have questions or would like to report such an incident, please contact the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.