MADERA COUNTY – Sheriff John Anderson is issuing fraud alerts concerning two scams that continue to prey on Madera County citizens. In one case, a senior citizen lost nearly $5,000.
First scam – If you receive a call on your cell phone displaying a series of numbers, sometimes 10 zeroes (0000000000), or a strange combination of numbers, do NOT answer.
The calls are coming from someone phishing for your personal information – namely everything that is stored on your phone, including credit card numbers and banking information.
To get rid of these unwanted calls, you can block the incoming number on your phone. If you don’t know how to do this, check the instructions for your specific phone or contact your service provider for assistance.
Second scam – Callers are again masquerading as debt collectors contacting consumers via cell phone and land line.
The so-called debt collectors claim to represent any number of companies, including financial institutions, advising you that you either owe back taxes, interest, or additional monies in regards to something you purchased.
The caller will then advise you to purchase a Green Dot to resolve the issue. In one case the victim did just that. He purchased a Green Dot card for $4,800 and gave the suspect the Green Dot number.
It wasn’t until after the transaction was complete that he realized he’d been had.
If you receive a call similar to this, Sheriff Anderson says hang up.