Phone scams continue to plague Valley | RecordCourier.com

Phone scams continue to plague Valley

Staff Reports

Carson Valley resident Liz Ludel said she was sitting at home when she got the call that her Social Security card was cancelled and there was a warrant out for her arrest.

Ludel, who has served on the Douglas County school board and was Douglas County’s first transportation director, wasn’t fooled, but that didn’t mean she was happy either.

“People need to be reminded not to listen,” she said. “When you get those calls, it can be very upsetting.”

Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Schemenauer reiterated a warning issued a few months ago about scam calls.

“Unidentified callers are telling the person answering the phone they have a warrant issued from the sheriff’s office or another federal law enforcement agency,” he said. “The scammer is seeking large sums of money, generally $2,000 to $5,000 be sent via the mail in the form of pre-paid gift cards.”

The sheriff’s office is asking residents, and particularly seniors, to be aware that these calls are fraudulent.

“The sheriff’s office is asking all retailers who sell pre-paid cards to conduct awareness training and help our community protect one another,” he said.

The sheriff’s office receives dozens of reports every year from residents on these calls, which is likely just the tip of the iceberg.

“Once the pre-paid card is purchased and mailed out, the sheriff’s office has very little ability to assist in recovering the loss, especially if the money ends up out of the country,” he said. “The public needs to be aware, no government agency will call you and demand money via pre-paid gift cards or pre-paid credit cards. Law enforcement will never demand money over the phone and all ‘warrants’ are handled in person via the normal judicial process.”

Schemenauer suggested residents visit http://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds for information on how avoid falling victim to the ever growing arena of digital crime.