Anytime of the year, Internet or telemarketing scams can come your way. The summer season is no better or worse than any other time of year, notes Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee.
However, Lee said he has heard of a couple of new ones recently. A local person had received a letter claiming to come from a John Miller at the Nevada State Attorney’s office, saying the person had won a bunch of money. What the person was to do was to call a return number for verification and gave a routing number to use. “But the clincher,” Lee said, “was that for the person to get the money, they are responsible for paying the taxes to the government on that money. The amount of $1,972 was required, and then the check for the winnings would be issued.”
That one is fairly obvious, he noted, but there other scams of various kinds being used at present, i.e., a relative is in jail in need of bail money, or involved in a car accident, or a relative is stranded and asked the stranger to call requesting money to get a car out of hock, or pay towing fees. “Scammers are hitting everybody just hard, hard, hard,” Lee said. “New scams are coming out all the time.”
Internet scams have been around for a number of years. A current one involves a pop-up on the computer screen when certain websites are visited which purports to be from the Lincoln County Telephone System. It claims your computer is now infected and that you must take care not to turn it off or reboot, until you call a given toll-free number to the technicians who will solve the problem.
To do so otherwise will hurt the computer so that it may not work properly, or even work again at all. Although not openly stated, payment will most likely be required. But a check with Lincoln County Telephone’s official, authorized technical support service, revealed the number is not valid and turning off or rebooting your computer will not harm it. This reporter had that happen three times in the month of May.
Lee said a lot of calls recently have been coming supposedly from the local power company, saying the person’s bill was overdue and their power would be shut off if the bill was not paid promptly and money sent to address XYZ, or a credit card number given. “That’s not way things work,” he said.
Another scam claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service and the person owes back taxes and U.S Marshal’s were going to be sent to the person’s home to collect. Payment was needed immediately to ward off the Marshal’s visit. “The IRS does not conduct business that way,” Lee commented. “They do not send emails or have someone call you on the phone to make threats.”
Lee warned all residents to make sure that “before you take any action when presented with such situations, speak to a relative, or a friend, or a person of authority at the company before sending any money. Don’t give out any personal information, Social Security info, bank account numbers, etc. And if so notified, contact the Sheriff’s office, and we’ll try to help through it.”