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Beware of phone scams, says YCSO

Yates County Sheriff's Office
Special to The Chronicle-Express

Elderly are often the target of ploys to get information

The Yates County Sheriff's Office would like to make residents aware of frequent fraudulent phone calls received by area residents. We are receiving reports of and offer some tips on how to avoid being victimized by these calls.

Further information can be found on the links provided below.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-avoid-scam

https://www.tax.ny.gov/help/contact/fraud-scams-idtheft.htm

https://ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds/telemarketing-fraud

https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/scams/consumeralerts_recalls/index.htm

https://ag.ny.gov/internet/common-online-scams

It is important to understand that many of these calls target specific segments of our population. They typically will involve some type of demand for money, or immediate action on the part of the receiver of the call, and often relate to topics that are sensitive, such as a family member being in jail in a foreign country, or a warrant being issued for your arrest, or demand for tax payments. These things may happen in reality so it is important to take steps to verify these calls before providing any personal information to anyone over the phone.

For example, many people receive calls or emails from persons claiming to be Microsoft reporting a virus in a computer and requesting access and a credit card to fix. Microsoft will never conduct these types of calls.

Another common call is from the "IRS" reporting that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. Again, the IRS does not do this.

Typical indicators of fraud to watch for are strange area codes on call, foreign accents on caller, or prerecorded messages. If you receive these types of calls, ask for a call back number or something in writing, or just hang up. Do not give out personal information such as your full name, age, address, date of birth, Social Security number, gift cart code numbers, etc. to anyone without first verifying the persons identity. Taking simple steps such as these will help to protect yourself from falling victim to fraud.

If you feel that you have been the victim of fraud, it is very important to contact your bank and credit reporting agencies to watch for future fraudulent activities, and report it to local police. Often these calls target the elderly so it is important to speak with family members as well.

ogether we can all take steps to minimize these crimes and protect ourselves as well as our families.