News from the chief

Chief of Police Matt Andres
Sleepy Eye Police Department
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

I am not sure how it happens, but Sleepy Eye’s number has come around again for scams. I am guessing this will not be a surprise to everyone that the scam calls have gone up quite a bit recently. The PD has had the number of people dealing with scams go up and I personally have been bombarded with spam texts and calls recently.

I have written about this problem in the past, but we keep having issues with it, so I just want to remind everyone not to get involved with scammers. The elderly are the most targeted group when it comes to scams. Please talk with anyone in your family or friend circle that may be at increased risk of scammers.

Recently the PD has had scams called in about Social Security issues, Medicare issues, arrest warrants from some unpaid fines in other states, car warranty coverage and a call from a grandson that is in jail in another state.

The last one comes around every so often. I will explain that one since it is unique to scams. An unknown male calls an elderly person and states that he is the person’s grandson. The scammer does not know who the grandson is and has no information about the grandson’s identity. The scammer (grandson) quickly tells the victim (grandparent) that they are in jail in another state, Florida seems like the most common state. The scammer asks for the victim to send money for bail. The scammer will give a phone number to the victim and if the victim calls that number another person in on the scam will pose as a lawyer or bail company and request the bail be paid in gift cards or Walmart money transfers.

Like with all scams, the scammers rely on people to quickly react to some issue and send money without thinking it through.

If anyone receives a call and it seems like it could be a scam, slow down and think it through. Talk with family, friends and/or Law Enforcement. Anytime a caller wants you to pay with gift cards or money transfers this is a scam. Scammers want instant money—not wait for a check because checks can be traced and canceled. Once a gift card number is given out or a money transfer is completed that money is gone and will not be recovered.

One other issue that has come up again is drivers turning right onto Highway 4 North, when traveling west on Main Street, at the stop lights. It is confusing because that used to be the right-hand turn lane, but it is not any longer. There are signs along Main Street that explain that right hand turns should be from the middle lane. There is no right-hand turn lane. The issue is some people are still turning right on the shoulder blocking others in the correct lane from turning right. The PD is trying to educate the public about this. Please follow the correct turning law and do not turn from the shoulder.

Have a great week everyone. As always please feel free to call me with questions or concerns, 794-3711.