2018-01-03 / Police News

Sheriff’s Department warns of telephone fraud scam

Delhi — The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by a concerned citizen of Delaware County on December 28 who reported he received a phone call from an unknown private number, in which an unidentified female caller attempted to convince the concerned citizen to send her a large sum of money.

The female caller did not identify herself but did attempt to hurriedly convince the concerned citizen to send her $4,000 immediately. The female caller advised that as a result of using her cellphone while she was driving she had been involved in a motor vehicle accident last night and was currently in court on the tickets issued to her as a result of the accident. The female caller advised that if she didn’t pay the $4,000 in ticket fines immediately that she would lose her license.

The concerned citizen advised that the female caller was very convincing and initially thought the caller was a family member.

After taking a few minutes to think about the circumstances and to ponder the situation, the concerned citizen reports that the caller then hung up.

This scam is very similar to the “Grandparent Scam” in which the NYS Office of the Attorney General advises that “a grandparent receives a call from someone posing as a grandchild claiming that he or she is traveling, been arrested, injured etc. and facing an urgent need for money – to make bail, pay a fine, or pay for automobile repairs or medical expenses. The caller begs the grandparent not to tell his or her parents. In these scams, the victims are then given instructions to send funds to the scammers. More recently, scam artists have instructed grandparents to visit retail stores, buy certain gift cards, and then provide the scammer with the information on the back of the card.”

The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office cautions persons receiving such calls or any calls in which they are pressured into hurriedly providing any personal information, any bank information, any credit card or other financial account information against releasing any such information or sending money until the information is verified through reliable and trustworthy sources.

The NYS Office of the Attorney General offers the following tips to protect against the grandparent scam:

Be suspicious of anyone who calls unexpectedly asking you to wire money.

Verify any supposed emergency, by calling friends and family, before wiring money.

Develop a secret code or “password” with family members that can be used to verify a true emergency.

Limit personal information, such as vacation plans, shared on social media sites.

Additional information can be found at: https://ag.ny.gov/pdfs/Grandparent_ Scheme_ Brochure.pdf

The NYS Office of the Attorney General offers these additional tips to help consumers avoid falling victim:

If the caller is a stranger, you should sense potential danger:

Never give out personal information to a stranger on the phone, even if they claim to be a representative from your bank, credit card company, or any other company with which you’ve done business.

Never wire money through Western Union, MoneyGram, or any other wire service to a stranger.

Never purchase gift cards for the purpose of providing the gift card numbers to a stranger or someone who claims to be a loved one—gift cards are not a legitimate form of payment.

If you have an elderly parent or loved one:

Consider passing along these tips to them and don’t assume that they can’t be victimized.

Consider seeking their permission to be involved in their finances, including asking credit card companies to alert you when they make an unusually large purchase.

Assure them that they should check with you before making a payment or purchase, especially if a caller has instructed them not to.

Encourage them to immediately contact you and/or the police if they get a call like those described here.

If you have fallen victim to the scam, it is recommended that you report the incident immediately to your local police agency as well as your state Attorney General’s office.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2018-01-03 digital edition