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Dec 02

Police warn consumers of phone scams and financial fraud

Posted on December 2, 2019 at 4:05 pm by Peter Ibrahim

Phone scams are on the rise, and criminals take advantage of consumer’s generosity especially during the holidays. The Police Department encourages community members to do their part to educate themselves regarding the various phone and financial fraud scams. There are many steps that consumers can take to minimize becoming a victim of the many phone scams and fraud that exist.

Know who you are talking to
  • Scammers often pose as family members or government officials in order to gain your trust
  • Government agencies will never request payments of any kind over the phone (unpaid taxes, arrest warrants, parking tickets or other fines) 
  • Scammers will lie about kidnapping family members in order to extort money
  • Be particularly suspicious if the caller’s voice sounds altered or robotic. If you receive a robocall, do not press a button to speak to a live operator
  • Be suspicious of those calling to advise you that you have won a prize/vacation or if a caller is asking you to pay a fee in order to claim a prize or gift
  • Verify information about the company that a caller claims to represent. There are several different types of phone scams that include the following:
    - IRS scams
    - Debt collection scams
    - Credit loan scams
    - Real estate and timeshare scams
    - Sweepstake prize winnings scams
Do not reveal personal information 
  • Scammers will utilize personal information including your name, address and social security number to commit identity theft
  • Do not provide information that has been recently updated or attempt to correct inaccurate information that has been provided by the caller
  • Do not provide passwords or remote access to computers for unsolicited services
  • Do not let a caller pressure you into providing information or taking immediate action

Avoid sending gift cards 
  • Scammers obtain the money of a victim by convincing them to buy gift cards or by asking them to wire transfer funds
  • Do not purchase gift cards (e.g., iTunes, Google Play, Green Dot, Visa debit cards) at the request of the caller. 
  • Do not provide gift card security codes over the phone
  • Do not wire transfer (e.g., Western Union) funds to unknown people

For more information on specific scams, visit or

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