Douglas County residents lose thousands to scammers

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MINDEN, Nev. (KOLO) - The Douglas County Sheriff’s is repeating the warning to the public that scam calls are being made to residents. The callers are falsely claiming they are members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, and falsely stating the residents have missed court dates or jury duty. The callers claim there is now a fine due and a warrant issued.

The scammers say to avoid being jailed, the people being called need to satisfy the bail on the warrant by using credit cards or by buying gift cards at a store. After the purchase of gift cards, the victims give the numbers on the cards to the scammers, who immediately redeem them.

There have been two Douglas County residents who have been scammed for more than $5,000 each.

The calls may appear local on the residents' caller ID, but they may be computer “spoofed” to show a local number.

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. According to a DCSO release, "Seniors were raised in their generation to be polite and trusting. Con arts use these traits to exploit their victims. Older Americans are less likely to report that they have been scammed, due to a lack of knowledge of who to report it to, or simply embarrassment. 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 and other law enforcement agencies will never call the public to notify them that they owe money on a warrant or fine. The public is encouraged to hang up on those calls and never give out personal information on the phone. The Sheriff’s Office encourages everyone to "communicate with your friends, neighbors and relatives and share this information on these ruthless scammers preying on the population of Douglas County."