Winnebago County Sheriff's Office warns about 'convincing' scam calls

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(Photo: Pixabay / <a href="">License Link</a>)(KWQC)
Published: Dec. 22, 2019 at 11:35 AM CST
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As you get ready for the holidays consumer experts encourage you to talk about scams with older family members and friends. We know scammers key in on older people.

Law enforcement and consumer experts say education is the key to stopping the scam.

The Winnebago County Sheriff posted on Facebook that it’s getting reports of scammers using a real sergeant's name. The scammer is even making it look like they were calling from a real Winnebago County jail phone number.

The person was told to withdraw a large amount of cash to pay a warrant.

The sheriff's office thanked staff at BMO Harris Bank in the City of Algoma. The bank recognized a customer was likely being scammed and called the sheriff's office.

The post has more than 500 shares, and it's a good time to talk about scams as you’re getting together with older family, friends and neighbors. Make sure they are not becoming a victim right now. Let them know gift cards are for giving. Never pay with a gift card. Also, don't pay fees to win anything and don't follow directions on a call. Another good tip is to never press a button to get "taken off the list,” just hang up instead.

We know a lot of older people answer the phone, and they don't want to be rude. Tell them to say, "I’ll have to check in and talk to my son or daughter" and tell them to get the contact information as well as the business name, then hang up.

Scammers use the names of a bank, credit card company, utility company or even the sheriff's department. You can't believe that. Hang up and call the real company.

Some people say they're too embarrassed to share with their family how they got scammed, especially if they did lose money.

Remind them they're a victim. They should report it.

There's help to stop those harassing illegal robocalls. New robocall legislation called the "Traced Act" passed the senate this week. It requires phone companies to determine if a number calling is actually real. One senator said they're sending Americans a holiday gift on everyone's list, stopping the plague of robocalls. This could fine scammers as much as $10,000 dollars per call.

Lastly, we want to let you know about another massive data breach of Facebook. It's estimated 267 million users' data was exposed online along with names, ID's and phone numbers. It was information that was available without a password.

Facebook says it's looking into the issue. Cyber security experts say this information could be used in phishing attacks, so Facebook users should be on the lookout for suspicious messages and text messages, even if the sender knows your name or some basic information about you, be skeptical. Don't get scammed.

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