MADERA COUNTY — Sheriff Jay Varney is warning residents of the latest scam designed to gather personal information from unsuspecting citizens.
Over the past few weeks, residents in Fresno, Tulare, Sanger, and Madera Counties have been receiving phone calls from a person claiming to be with the Madera County Department of Social Services (DSS).
The phone number appearing on their caller ID (559-675-7841) is the actual phone number for Madera DSS; the caller claims to need demographic and personal identifying information on behalf of Madera DSS.
Madera DSS is not making these phone calls and there is no legitimate reason a representative from Madera DSS would need to call and ask for this type of information.
In at least one instance, a citizen did give the caller personal information. An initial investigation has revealed that one of the call-back numbers given by the suspects is based in Puerto Rico. It appears the suspects are somehow “spoofing” their phone number to show up as the Madera DSS number.
Sheriff Varney would like to remind all citizens to be aware of potential scams, many are now initiated through phone calls or email messages. As a general rule it is not a good idea to give your personal information to anyone unless you are sure you are communicating with the actual intended recipient.
Always be suspicious of any offers that appear to be “too good to be true,” especially if the caller requires any form of payment to secure a prize or other benefit.