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Telephone scam targets seniors

Staff Reports

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office warned residents of a new version of a telephone scam.

The phony caller claims to be a volunteer or employee of the Douglas County Senior Center soliciting funds on behalf of the center for the American Cancer Society.

The scammer tells the victim that if they would like to donate, they can provide their credit card or debit card information and the donation will be automatically deducted from their account.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Halsey said Friday there had been one reported successful scam. He advised residents – particularly senior citizens who are the typical targets – to be cautious.

Travis Lee, director of Douglas County Senior Services, said his staff does not solicit credit card or debit card information and would never solicit seniors for any donations.

“This fundraising scam is just the latest of ongoing identity theft/monetary theft scams where suspects use the telephone, mail or computer to try to get peo-ple to reveal their personal or financial information,” Halsey said.

“It doesn’t matter why the suspects are calling. The reasons are just different variants of the same scam – to get personal identification or bank account/credit card information for fraudulent purposes,” he said.

Halsey advised residents to never give out personal information whether contacted by telephone, direct mail or online.

He said people wishing to donate, should contact the organization directly.