Deputies warn against scam targeting elderly

Published: Sep. 20, 2013 at 12:40 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2013 at 12:54 AM CDT
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Deputies in Morgan County want to get the word out about a scam that could impact senior citizens. They said they've already gotten several calls. It starts with an unsuspecting person getting a call from some claiming to be with Medicaid, Medicare or the Social Security Administration. The caller asks the potential victims to read out the numbers on the bottom of their most recent check or check stub.

"I've seen some pretty complicated schemes that work quite well for a while before we are able to catch them," said Lt. Terry Kelly. "It's important for people to understand that when they get a call like this it seems official and sounds official, but it's not."

Kelly said if share your information with the scammer, they could use that to steal your money or your identity. So your best bet is to keep your private information private.

"We work really hard for our money. To have somebody come and try and take it from them is just not right," said Kelly.

Another scam is bringing calls into the sheriff's office. Kelly said someone will receive a call from an 876 area code. The caller will say you have won a contest or sweepstakes and you need to call another 876 number to set up payments for the "taxes" or "fees" that must be paid to get the prize.

Deputies say no actual contest or sweepstakes will require that payments be made up front.  Also, the 876 area code is not from the U.S., but Jamaica. When you call back, they try to keep you on the phone for as long as possible. You will end up with a large phone bill for the out of country calls.

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