Local Sheriffs Offices getting less reports of phone scams.
Written by Jesse Baroka on June 14, 2019
BESSEMER — Local Sheriffs Offices getting less reports of phone scams likely because awareness of the problem has improved but people are still victimized by scammers that change and adapt with new technology to stay ahead of prevention efforts, according to local law enforcement. Recent scam complaints to the Gogebic County Sheriff’s office included the fake IRS calls, where someone threatens negative action including arrest or lawsuits in an attempt to extort money over the phone. Other complaints are about callers claiming to be relations or someone speaking for a loved one they know and ask for money to get them out of jail or some other bad situation. Some of the scammers have already acquired the account information and credit card numbers of the people they are calling through fraudulent and sometimes even legal means. The caller is just trying to get that last bit of missing information to access the account like a three-digit security code. Banks and credit unions often have a fraud detection company that will call when an irregular activity occurs, such as a sudden string of purchases or a unexplained purchase in another state. It’s a good idea to notify the financial institutions when planning to travel and using their cards. When someone does provide personal information or sends money to a scammer, there is not a lot that can be done at that point. Law enforcement will take the information and phone numbers and attempt to contact them but most often the callers are untraceable. Other complaints include telemarketers from out of the area using technology to show a local number on caller ID sometimes even a number your familiar with. This is intended to get more people to answer the call than would if the number were unrecognizable. If an unsolicited caller asks for personal information the only response should be to ask for a call back number. Report that number along with the nature of the call to the sheriff’s office.