FRAUD Alert – Phone Scams are hitting the community again

March 14th, 2018 at 11:30 AM

Help Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Schemes – If you know how scammers work, you will be better prepared to recognize a scam and not fall victim.

Every few months, scammers re-try their tactics within a community they’ve already hit. Recent reports to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office include receiving a phone call from what the caller ID shows as a local phone number. The person initiating the call fraudulently represents themselves as from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. The most recent scam the caller says you need to personally appear at the Sheriff’s Office.  Don’t fall victim. Do some research and follow up directly with the agency the scammer claims to represent – do not call back the phone number the suspicious phone call came from.

In most cases, the caller eventually uses scare tactics to compel the person to make a payment for a ticket or warrant that does not exist. The caller may request that you use green dot or a similar a pre-paid card, wire transfer or other means. Sometimes scammers ask for a monetary donation (such as for a fraternal order or police). Others scams include people fraudulently representing themselves as utility companies threatening to shut off services if you do not make immediate payment through a green dot card or some other nontraditional utility payment.

These scammers also make you believe they are legitimate because they have personal information about you. Remember that there are many websites and publicly available databases that unfortunately make your personal information easily accessible to anyone.

Please be aware that scammers can spoof phone numbers and caller ID information to make their scam appear to be from a legitimate source. They may even pretend to be someone who actually works for our agency by using a legitimate employee’s name. If you suspect a call is fraudulent, hang up and call our office. The most recent scam phone number reported is 928-318-8755 and a person with a southern accent calling.

Basic best practices are not to confirm or provide any of your personal information and do not call back the number they provide you. It’s OK to hang up. Take time to do a little research on the phone number or agency the person claims to represent.  Call the published authorized number for that agency to find out if the call was legitimate.

As soon as the scammer believes the phone number he/she has been using has been compromised or is under police investigation, they usually turn off that phone and start using another phone. They often use “throw away phones.” This makes it very difficult to track these criminals. We need you to be aware of these criminal’s tactics.


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6 thoughts on “FRAUD Alert – Phone Scams are hitting the community again

  1. They have actually gotten smart and they have been spoofing numbers that are one off of your phone number. So I have been getting these calls from a number that replaces the 5 in my phone number with a 6, etc..

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