Douglas County Sheriff warns of phone scams

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MINDEN, Nev. (KOLO) - The Douglas County Sheriff’s is warning the public of two recent phone scams in which phone calls are being made to residents with false information, and the victims are purchasing gift cards.

In one instance reported to DCSO, a resident received a phone call from "Apple Computer" that claimed a computer had been compromised. The caller ID also stated it was Apple Inc. so the resident felt it was legitimate. The scam caller claimed he would be working on the computer remotely. After the caller claimed it was repaired, he asked for a service plan to be purchased for future protection. The caller instructed to victim to purchase $400 in ITunes gift cards, which was done, and gift card numbers were given to the scam caller. The caller immediately redeemed the card with no services given.

In the second instance, a Douglas County resident received a phone call from a caller claiming to be a grandson, and then later a call from a male who claimed to be the attorney for the grandson who was handling his arrest for DUI. The caller wanted gift cards for handling the incident and then her grandson would be released. The loss was $2500 in Wal-Mart gift cards.

According to the FBI, senior citizens are targeted for several reasons. They are perceived to have “nest eggs” in cash, own their homes, and have excellent credit. DCSO says seniors were raised in their generation to be polite and trusting. Con artists use these traits to exploit their victims.

DCSO says older Americans are less likely to report that they have been scammed, due to a lack of knowledge of to whom to report it, or simple embarrassment. Sometimes older Americans have memory problems and cannot remember important details to be effective witnesses to assist law enforcement in finding the criminals.

DCSO wants to remind the public that phone scammers are working 24/7 trying to obtain your money. Never answer personal questions, never tell a stranger your bank information, social security information, or Medicare numbers.

It’s tax season, so callers are using “The IRS is calling”. These are all scams trying to obtain money. The public is encouraged to hang up on these calls. You're also encouraged to reach out to family, friends and neighbors and share this information on these scammers preying on the population.