Morris County Prosecutor Encourages Residents to Remember Our Fallen Service Members on Memorial Day Weekend

May 22, 2020

 

On Memorial Day weekend, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp reminds Morris County residents to remember and honor the sacrifice of our brave men and women Armed Forces Members who have died serving our country.

This year presents a challenge to the way we traditionally honor their memories, as we cannot gather for parades or services as we normally would do. Our residents continue to abide by social distancing guidelines intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Prosecutor Knapp said “Despite the lack of our traditional parades and remembrance ceremonies due to the pandemic, we can not make it easy to forget why Memorial Day is significant. This Memorial Day weekend, please remember to take time to honor our fallen members of the United States Armed Forces. It is also important to remember that while many celebrate the unofficial kickoff to summer, our law enforcement officers, healthcare workers, and first reponders continue to work during this emergency to keep Morris County residents safe.”

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at [email protected] or 973-829-8159.

Morris County Prosecutor Encourages Residents to Remember Our Fallen Service Members on Memorial Day Weekend

Morris County Prosecutor Warns Residents of Criminals Posing as Contact Tracers

May 21, 2020

 

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker warn residents that criminals have been using the COVID-19 emergency to carry out a new type of scam – posing as Contact Tracers to steal money or personal information.

Contact tracing is the process of identifying people who have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for an infectious disease. Public health department officials will try to learn where a person has been in order to warn others who may have come into contact with that person, so that they can get tested or isolate themselves.

A recent criminal trend has identified criminal scammers pretending to be contact tracers during the COVID-19 public emergency. The scammer sends a message to the victim saying they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19/coronavirus and need to click a link to learn more. When that link is clicked, malicious software is downloaded onto a person’s smartphone or other device, giving hackers access to their target’s private information.

Legitimate contact tracers only send text messages to let a person know that they will be calling. These messages DO NOT include a link. Messages that include a link to click should be viewed as illegitimate and deleted immediately.

Contract tracers also DO NOT ask for personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank account number.

Prosecutor Knapp said “Criminals are taking advantage of these unprecedented circumstances and the public trust to steal from our residents. Please do not become a victim of these scammers!”

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at [email protected] or by phone at 973-829-8159.

Morris County Prosecutor Warns Residents of Criminals Posing as Contact Tracers

Morris County Prosecutor Warns Residents of Criminal Scams Targeting Residents During COVID-19

May 14, 2020

 

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker advise residents that criminal scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 emergency while people are staying home to conduct scams by phone, email and online, especially targeting our elderly population.

We and our Law enforcement partners throughout Morris County and the State have observed an increase in the number of scams and confidence crimes. Residents are being asked to remain vigilant, especially as scammers are trying to upset them into impulsively turning over money. Residents are encouraged to reach out to elderly friends and relatives to alert them about these scams.

Some examples are as follows:

BAIL BOND – A criminal will call the victim and explain their grandchild has been arrested.  The criminal may or may not provide the grandchild’s name.  In some cases, a person was placed on the phone pretending to be the grandchild as proof of being arrested.  The criminal will ask the victim to post (in other words, give) a sum of money in order for the grandchild to be released from jail. During a recent incident in Roxbury Township, the criminal asked for the victim’s home address in order to pick up the money. This type of scam is particularly dangerous, as the criminal will attempt to collect the money in person directly from the victim.

Please be aware, the criminal may give the victim instructions on what to say to a bank teller if they ask why cash is being withdrawn. The criminal may also instruct the victim to act upset and angry or to tell the bank employee that it is none of their business.

IRS SCAM – A criminal will call the victim and tell them that they owe the government money and face being arrested if they do not pay. To avoid being arrested, the victim must satisfy the debt by way of a MoneyGram or gift cards.

Please be aware that the IRS will never call and attempt to settle a tax debt via MoneyGram or gift card.

STIMULUS CHECKS – The United States Postal Inspection Service advises that scammers are calling and/or emailing individuals claiming to be from the Treasury Department, and and offering expedited payments or assistance with obtaining an Economic Impact Payment. According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, citizens do not need to pay taxes or processing fees in order to obtain the relief stimulus payment. Residents are advised if they receive a call asking for personal information or for fees to obtain a stimulus check, do not provide any personal information and do not send money.

Prosecutor Knapp said, “I am appalled by these attacks upon our most vulnerable residents. Personally, the 95 year old father of my close friend was bilked out of $25,000 on a Bail Scam. Please don’t be a victim!”

Residents can also report the theft of stimulus checks from the mail to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at www.uspis.gov/report or 1-800-ASK-USPS.

If you are contacted please notify your local police department or the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit at 973-285-6200.

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at [email protected] or by phone at 973-829-8159.

Morris County Prosecutor Warns Residents of Criminal Scams Targeting Residents During COVID-19