Officials say scammers are getting bolder, even going as far as to pretend to be your local authorities.
Becca Peckinpaugh, an Elder Victim Advocate with Crime Victim Services in Ottawa and Lima issued the following news release to offer people advice.
Phone scams are no joke. The scammer utilizes a voice of authority (police, IRS, etc.) in order to attempt to get your money. In some of the most recent cases, they have gotten bolder by pretending to be your local authorities. There have been calls for someone claiming to be the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. The scammer provides you some information about yourself, then tells you that there is a warrant out for your arrest. They tell you to buy a surety bond in order to keep yourself out of jail until you can turn yourself in. They ask you to pay by gift cards or wiring money.
Don’t do it! Here are some facts. The authorities do not warn you when they are about to arrest you. If there is, in fact, a warrant with your name, then they will arrest you without warning. Scammers only ask for payment by wiring money or tell you to buy gift cards and give them the gift card numbers. These payment methods are very hard to trace back to the scammers.
If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately. You may also let the call ring to voicemail. The Federal Trade Commission says that the more scam calls you answer, the more your number will be used by criminals. Call your local law enforcement, using the phone number you know is legitimate, to report the incident. You may also report to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission who keep track of scams and patterns for research purposes and to learn about the criminals who commit fraud. For any information or questions, call Becca Peckinpaugh, Crime Victim Services, at 419-523-1111.