New Twist to the Telephone Tech Support Scam

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has produced Scam Alerts in the past advising the public of an ongoing telephone scam in which callers purport to be an employee of a major software company. The callers have strong foreign accents. The callers report the user’s computer is sending error messages and numerous viruses have been detected. The caller convinces the user to give them permission to run a program allowing the caller to gain remote access. The caller advises the virus can be removed for a fee.

Intimidation tactics used in this scam have influenced victims to pay fees associated with the removal of alleged viruses. It has been reported to the IC3 an individual who paid the required fees, later received a call advising the victim the funds paid for the services went to India and were used to purchase weapons for ISIS. The call came with an additional request for money to remove the victim’s name from a black list.

In a new twist to the tech support scam, cyber criminals attempt to defraud using another avenue. The scam is executed while a user is browsing the Internet. In this scenario, a website being viewed provided a link to articles related to popular topics. The user clicked the link and was redirected to a website which produced a window that advised the user’s computer had been hacked. Another window was displayed that contained a telephone number to obtain assistance. The user reported all attempts to close the windows were ineffective. Upon calling the number for assistance the user was connected with an individual who spoke with a heavy foreign accent claiming to be an Apple representative. During the process the user’s web browser was hijacked. Restarting the computer in an attempt to regain access to the Web produced another message with a different telephone number to obtain assistance.

The execution of this fraud is similar to what was reported in a Public Service Announcement (PSA) dated 07/18/2013. The PSA reports on a version of ransomware that targets OS X Mac users. This version is not a malware; it appears as a webpage that uses JavaScript to load numerous iframes (browser windows) and requires victims to close each iframe. The cyber criminals anticipate victims will pay the requested ransom before realizing all iframes need to be closed. The full PSA can be found at http://www.ic3.gov/media/2013/130718-2.aspx

If you are a victim of this scam or a similar scheme it is suggested:

To file a complaint at www.IC3.GOV
Resist the pressure to act quickly
Be cautious of clicking on unknown links

New Twist to the Telephone Tech Support Scam first published 11-14-2014.

PRESS RELEASE – CONSUMER ALERT

PRESS RELEASE – CONSUMER ALERT

Area law enforcement, including the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, are receiving an increasing number of reports of fraud involving people misrepresenting themselves as law enforcement.

The scam typically starts as a victim receiving a call from someone identifying themselves as a member of a local law enforcement agency. The caller will tell the victim that there is an outstanding warrant for the victim and demand immediate payment to satisfy the warrant.

The caller ID on the victim’s phone may show the call as originating from the local law enforcement agency.

Often times, the victim will receive repeated phone calls from the same person demanding money. The caller attempts to increase the pressure on the victim as calls continue with increased threats of being arrested.

There are variations of this scam, with the callers identifying themselves as lawyers or collection agents, but they generally demand money on the threat of being arrested.

As a general rule, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department does NOT make calls to persons who have active arrest warrant, and certainly not repeated calls demanding money.

It appears that the callers are using digital technology to “spoof” or change their caller ID information to that of a local law enforcement agency where the victim lives. Because of the nature of this technology, it is extremely difficult to trace the call back to its source.

Persons who receive these types of calls are advised to do the following:

  1. NEVER give out personal information such as credit card or social security numbers to an unknown caller.
  2. Demand the name and a callback phone number of the caller.
  3. Keep a log of the calls received including date, time and the name of the caller.
  4. Report the calls to law enforcement. If there are outstanding warrants for you, you’ll be advised.

For more information, please contact the Investigations Unit of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department at 402-454-2110.

More information can be found at the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov

Vern Hjorth, Madison County Sheriff

Notification of registration responsibilities under Nebraska Sex Offender Registration Act

The below information is provided as a guideline for sex offenders registrants and is based on State of Nebraska form no CC6.9, updated 04/13, and Nebraska Rev. Statues
Sec. 29-4007

Your conviction or guilty plea has caused you to be subject to the Nebraska Sex Offender Registration Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 29-4001 to 29-4014. The date you become subject to the Act is no later than the date of your sentencing. According to the Nebraska Sex Offender Registration Act, you are required to report to a location designated by the Nebraska State Patrol for purposes of registration within three (3) working days after you become subject to the Act. An appeal of your conviction does not relieve you from the registration requirements.

  • If you have a new address, temporary domicile or habitual living location within the same county, you are required to register in person at the county sheriff within three (3) working days before the move.
  • If you have a new address, temporary domicile or habitual living location in a different county within the state, you are required to report the change in person with the current county sheriff within 3 working days before the change. You must also report in person to the county sheriff in your new county of residence and register within three (3) working days after the change.
  • If you are moving out of state, you are required to report the change in person with the current county sheriff within three (3) working days before the change. You must also comply with the registration requirements of that state.
  • Any person required to register who no longer has a residence, or temporary domicile, or habitual living location shall register with the county sheriff in which he or she is transient within three (3) working days. Such person shall update his or her registration, in person on a form approved by the sex offender registration and community notification division of the Nebraska State Patrol at least once every thirty calendar days during the time he or she remains without residence, or temporary domicile, or habitual living location.
  • Any person required to register who is incarcerated for more than three (3) days is required to give notice of the incarceration and expected release date, if available, to the sheriff of the county in which you would reside or would be temporarily domiciled but for your incarceration. You are to give the sheriff this notice within three (3) working days of your incarceration. Prior to any type of release from incarceration, you are to report your change of address to the sheriff of the county in which you are incarcerated and to the county sheriff of the county in which you reside or are temporarily domiciled.
  • If you are employed, carry on a vocation or attend school (with or without compensation), you must register in person with the county sheriff of the county in which you are employed, carry on a vocation or attend school within three (3) working days after becoming employed, carrying on a vocation or attending school. You must provide the location of each work site and education institution. You must also notify the sheriff of any change in such employment, vocation or school attendance within three (3) working days after the change.
  • If you reside, move, or are temporarily domiciled out of state, but are employed or carry on a vocation (with or without compensation), or attend school in this state, you must report in person, and register with, the county sheriff of the county in which you are employed, carry on a vocation, or attend school within three (3) working days. You must also notify the sheriff of any change in such employment, vocation, or attendance status at the school or postsecondary educational institution, in person, within three (3) working days of such change. You shall inform the sheriff of any legal change in name, in writing, within three (3) working days after such change, and provide a copy of the legal documentation supporting the change in name.
  • If, while residing or being temporarily domiciled in Nebraska, you go to another state to attend school or work, you must comply with the registration requirements of both states.

You must complete a full registration including fingerprints, palm prints, a photograph and DNA which will be obtained by any registering entity in order to comply with the registration requirements. You must register all addresses, employment, school, vehicles, travel and immigration documents, professional licenses and certificates, and telephone numbers as required under Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 29-4006. You are required to report any changes thereafter in three (3) working days in person with the county sheriff.

The registration and verification requirements under the Act are continuing ones. You shall be required to register during any period of supervised release, probation, or parole and shall continue to comply with the act for the period of time as prescribed below after the date of discharge from probation, parole, or supervised release or release from incarceration, whichever date is most recent. The duration of time you will be required to register will be between fifteen years and lifetime. Upon receipt of registration and confirmation of the registry requirement, the sex offender registration and community notification division of the Nebraska State Patrol shall notify the person by certified mail of his or her registry duration and verification schedule. The possible full registration periods and verification schedules are as follows:

  • Fifteen years, if the sex offender was convicted of a registrable offense under section 29-4003 not punishable by imprisonment for more than one year; Annual verification: The offender shall report annually in the month of his or her birth, in person, to the office of the sheriff of the county in which he or she resides for purposes of accepting verifications, regardless of the original registration month.
  • Twenty-five years, if the sex offender was convicted of a registrable offense under section 29-4003 punishable by imprisonment for 1 more than one year; Biannual verifications: The offender shall report, in person, in the month of his or her birth and in the sixth month following the month of his or her birth, regardless of the original registration month.
  • Life, if the sex offender was convicted of a registrable offense under section 29-4003 punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and was convicted of an aggravated offense, had a prior sex offense conviction, has been determined to be a Predator, or has been determined to be a lifetime registrant in another state, territory, commonwealth, or other jurisdiction of the United States, by the United States Government, by court-martial or other military tribunal, or by a foreign jurisdiction; Quarterly verifications: The offender shall report, in person, in the month of his or her birth and every three months following the month of his or her birth, regardless of the original registration month.

A sex offender who is required to register for fifteen years may request a reduction in the registration period to ten years upon completion of ten years of the registration period after the date of discharge from probation, parole, supervised release, or incarceration, whichever date is most recent. The sex offender shall make the request to the Nebraska State Patrol. The sex offender shall provide proof as listed under Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 29-4005(2).

Any time period when any person who is required to register under the act fails to comply with such registration requirement shall not be counted as completed registration time and shall be used to recalculate the registration period.

Any person required to register under the Act who violates the Act has committed a Class IV felony. Any person previously been convicted of a violation of the Act is guilty of a Class III felony and shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of at least one year in prison unless the act which caused the person to be placed on the registry was a misdemeanor, in which case the violation of the Act shall be a Class IV felony.

The above is a summary of your registration and verification responsibilities under the Act. You should familiarize yourself with the Act and be alert to any amendments to it.

Madison County sheriff addresses graduates

Reprinted from the Norfolk Daily News
By MIKE RENNING regional@nullnorfolkdailynews.com

sheriff vern hjorth

Sheriff Vern Hjorth

“My initial training consisted of a couple of days riding around with someone,” Madison County Sheriff Vern Hjorth said. “And then they gave me a thick book of statutes and told me to go to work.”

Hjorth was the keynote speaker Friday at the graduation ceremony for the 188th class of the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center here.

Forty-five people received certification for passing the 16-week basic training course designed to give the graduates the necessary skills knowledge to effectively function as a law enforcement officer in Nebraska.

Hjorth said it was a challenge to decide what to say in his speech to the graduates because he knew the center’s course instructors had given them everything they needed to know throughout the 16-week program.

Hjorth said he received his answer earlier this week as he related a story about running into a judge Monday who gave him some sage advice.

“The judge said he recently had to dismiss a case for a driving under the influence charge. The only reason the charge was thrown out was because the arresting officer couldn’t communicate to the judge the probable cause for pulling the offending driver over in the first place,” Hjorth said.

So the sheriff appealed to the new officers to put down their cell phones and quit texting all the time.

“It’s time to get back out there and meet the people face-to-face,” he said. “When you stop to get gas or stop at a public function — stop and say hello to individuals. Talk to them and ask them how they are doing.”

There are so many different technological communication devices available today that people tend to forget about the most basic communication of talking directly to someone, he added.

“We also need to remember we are not at war with the public,” the 44-year law enforcement veteran said. “We are here to serve the public.”

Graduates receiving certification Friday included seven individuals from five Northeast Nebraska law enforcement agencies.

Two of the new officers were from the Norfolk Police Division, two were from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and there was one each from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Department and Wheeler County Sheriff’s Department.

Hjorth saved perhaps his best advice for last in his address.

“In your career you will see some things you will not be able to handle,” he said. “Go to your church or your place of faith and sit and think about it for 15 to 20 minutes. Pretty soon you will feel this hand on your back comforting you and helping you.

“Don’t turn around. There won’t be anyone standing there, but something is there to help you along.”

Reporting Internet fraud and other white collar crimes

Internet fraud and other white collar crimes

IC3

Internet fraud and other white collar crimes, such as email and telephone scams, are becoming more prevalent every day. The Madison County Sheriff’s Department receives numerous calls each week regarding these crimes.

We encourage everyone to visit the IC3 website at www.ic3.gov frequently to keep abreast of the latest consumer alerts.

If you think you have been the victim of internet or white collar crime, please file a complaint with the IC3 using the form at http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx

Reports made via this form are routed directly to the FBI for investigation or referral.

2014 Law Enforcement Memorial Service

Sheriff's line

In 2014 area law enforcement officers honored the memory of Madison County Deputy James J. Drahota, who was killed in a vehicle pursuit on October 13, 1962.

Photo credit: Linda Gansebom

Marked Patrol Units

2013-09-26-09-15-54

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department utilizes various types of vehicles to accomplish it various tasks. Shown below are two examples of vehicles currently in the fleet of marked patrol units. In addition to full size four wheel drive trucks, the department has placed a new Ford Police Interceptor into service. This new unit is a high performance, all wheel drive vehicle which will be used for everything from traffic enforcement to prisoner transports. The department also has several Dodge Chargers in service at this time.