As we get closer to the holidays more and more scams appear every day where scammers try to gain your hard-earned money. Although there are many varieties of these scams, phone scams have become the most popular choice for scammers everywhere.
The callers use phone numbers they received using phishing sites or various forms on the internet to call unsuspecting people and con them into believing they need to pay up for one reason or another. While all the phone scams vary in methods, they all come to the same request asking you to pay using a Green Dot MoneyPak prepaid card, Western Union, or wire transfer.
Officials everywhere are asking residents to be cautious of any suspicious phone calls they receive asking for money. Most of the scammers are targeting retirement areas such as The Villages and other elderly citizens in other areas but are know to target the younger population as well.
The scammers have been known to represent themselves as being Attorneys needing to collect attorney fees to avoid prosecution as well as impersonating law enforcement officials saying they have a relative in jail and need you to pay the bail money over the phone.
These situations are natural stressful events and cause the victim to panic and attempt to comply. Before you do, protect yourself by simply hanging up. Keep in mind that real agencies or officials will never contact you and request money over the phone, especially using a prepaid card or wire transfer.
Sumter County Deputies issued a warning on their Facebook page due to a high number of reports in the Sumter County area.
“We recently received complaints from residents in Fruitland Park reference telephone calls from Jamaica with the area code 876. Callers are notifying residents of large sums of money they’ve won, they just need to pay a smaller portion up front for processing. This is a SCAM and we recommend that you do not carry on conversation with them at all, simply hang-up!!!
If you or anyone you know feels they personally have been targeted, they can call our Police Department non-emergency number 352-360-6655 or utilize the http://www.seniorsvscrime.com website.”
If you feel you are the victim of a scam, DO NOT give them any personal information and contact your local law enforcement agency immediately to provide as much information as possible.