Green River Star -

Scam warning issued by Sheriff

 


A telephone scam that was in circulation in Sweetwater County several years ago has now resurfaced, though with a new twist.

Sheriff Mike Lowell said that swindlers are calling people and identifying themselves as either law enforcement officers or officials of a bogus “Sweetwater Civil Processing Unit.” 

The caller, who often has a thick accent, tells his intended victims that someone will be coming by with a warrant or other official paperwork.

The callers are rude - even threatening - and eventually ask for a credit card or debit card number to settle the phony “legal matter.” They may also direct that the person purchase a reloadable debit card and forward funds.

In the past, the caller identification systems many people have on their phones showed the caller’s number to be from another state, often on the east coast, but in these recent instances the caller’s number is falsified to appear that it’s coming from a local number listed to the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s all part of the scam, to make it look more convincing,” said Lowell. “These con artists are often quite proficient when it comes to technology. They use techniques and systems that make it appear that the calls are local, when in fact they are not.”

Officials point out that, first of all, no agency of the criminal justice system is going to call to demand money or payment for fines, missed jury duty, overdue traffic tickets, etc. If you receive a call like this, make a note of the agency or department that the caller claims to be with and also note the number that appears on your caller ID.

Next, hang up, then follow up, using the information you’ve noted.

Check with the organization the caller claimed to be with.

Most important of all, never provide such a caller with any personal or financial information.

For more information on this and many other fraud schemes, law enforcement officials recommend the FBI website at http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud.

 

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