(KNSI) – The St Cloud Police Department is warning area residents about an increase in reported imposter scams. The SCPD says it’s getting more calls from people who have been victims of fraud or have been contacted by what they think is a scam.

According to a press release, imposter scams come in a wide variety of forms but generally happen over the phone, email, or on a social media platform. The most recent scams involve claims that the caller or sender is from Publisher’s Clearinghouse, the IRS, Social Security Administration, or COVID related.

The St Cloud Police Department encourages everyone to be suspicious of any sales call or correspondence that you did not seek out.

Police have four tips to help identify a scam:

1. Pretending to be from an organization that you know

2. A problem or prize is the bait to get you talking and invested in what they’re trying to get you to do or give them

3. Pressure you to act immediately

4. Payment is required in a specific way

The SCPD says if you believe that you have been the victim of a scam and lost money, contact them at (320) 251-1200.

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