Many people have lost money to phone scams. Some scammers call impersonating law enforcement and tell the victim a tale that requires the victim to pay the scammer in order to rid themselves of some kind of imagined legal trouble.
Scammers might say victims will be arrested, fined, or deported if they don’t pay taxes or some other debt right away. The goal is to scare victims into paying. But real law enforcement and federal agencies will not call and threaten anyone with incarceration.
Other scammers offer a prize of some manner, but the prize requires the victim to pay the scammer a set amount before the victim receives the item or full payment of the prize, which will never arrive. Scammers have recently begun to use COVID-19 as a platform to launch scare tactics and play on the compassion of others during tough times.
The victim is left with nothing and the scammer has gotten away with their hard earned money. Many times, the scammer is located overseas and out of reach of authorities.
Despite the nature of the tale or the type of scam, there are signs that should tell victims that they are dealing with a scammer right away.
During an appearance on Sheridan Media’s Public Pulse, Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Sergeant Devereaux Johnson informed listeners on a few of the basic tactics being used and tactics used during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Johnson, people should ensure that the caller is legitimate before ever divulging any kind of personal information. Johnson recommends people double check to see if they have ever done business with the company the caller is claiming to be representing. Companies will not ask for personal information that they should already have, such as Social Security numbers, account numbers or any passwords associated with websites or financial accounts. If the scammers send an email, it may use poor grammar or contain misspelled words.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of scammers or wish to verify any kind of call from law enforcement, call the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office at (307) 672-3455.