Telephone scams target Douglas County senior residents | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Telephone scams target Douglas County senior residents

Be wary of current scams.

Two Douglas County residents have had more than $5,000 each stolen from them by telephone scammers, who are claiming they owed fines for missing a court date or jury duty.

According to a warning issued by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, the residents received phone calls from someone claiming to be from the sheriff's office.

The caller then claims that to avoid incarceration the resident needs to pay the bail on a warrant, and asks for a credit card or for the resident to purchase gift cards at a store and then read the number off the card to the caller so they can be redeemed.

According to the actual sheriff's office, the calls may appear local on the resident's caller ID, but the number may be "spoofed" to show a local number.

According to the FBI, senior citizens are targeted in these cases because they are perceived to have a lot of cash, own their home and have good credit.

Older Americans are also less likely to report that they have been scammed, due to a lack of knowledge of who to report it to, or because of embarrassment.

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Sometimes older Americans have memory problems and cannot remember important details to be an effective witness to assist law enforcement in finding the criminal.

"The Douglas County Sheriff's office wants to remind residents that they will never call the public to notify them that they owe money on a warrant or fine," sheriff's spokeswoman Bernadette Smith said. "The public is encouraged to hang up on those calls and never give out personal information on the phone."

Residents are reminded to communicate with friends and neighbors and share information regarding the scammers.

The public is encouraged to hang up on those calls and never give out personal information on the phone.