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The Minneapolis Police Department takes a preventative approach toward safeguarding citizens against these types of swindles, scams, frauds and identity thefts.
“There’s not much we can do besides things like prevention,” said Sgt. William Palmer, a public information officer with the city. “We get the word out: ‘If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably too good to be true.”
Minneapolis police disseminate pamphlets about “guarding your identity” and “crime prevention for senior citizens” that dole out common-sense tips such as “never give your credit card number or bank account information to anyone calling you” and “don’t be flimflammed by a con artist.”
Additionally, the department on how to avoid becoming a victim of frauds and scams.
Victims of small-time scams, Palmer said, are likely to be directed to a patrol officer.
“The guys going door-to-door trying to get $25 for my car broke down, that’s usually done by the patrol division,” he said. “We’ll try to find the guy doing it and charge by citation with customer swindle.”
Investigations of larger-scale scams—generally more than $5,000—are conducted by the department’s Financial Crimes Unit, which is also charged with investigating bank-related forgeries and frauds.