Scammers targeting Vail Valley, gaining access to personal information, funds | AspenTimes.com

Scammers targeting Vail Valley, gaining access to personal information, funds

Randy Wyrick
Vail Daily

In a recent scam making the rounds, someone calls posing as a lawyer, bail bond business and jailers, claiming one of your family members is in trouble. They'll ask you for personal and financial information. Don't give it to them. Instead call local law enforcement.

EAGLE — Your cellphone rings, and before you check your caller ID, you answer. A recorded voice insists you’re in all kinds of trouble, but it’s nothing that a pile of money can’t cure.

It’s a scam, chances are.

The IRS is not sending “the cops” to arrest you.

You probably don’t need tech support, unless you asked for it.

Your family members are not in jail, and if they are, you need to talk to a detention deputy, not a telephone scammer.

“Scammers have most recently started to call posing as lawyers, bondsman and jailers asking for funds to release a family member ‘in trouble,'” said Amber Barrett, community affairs deputy with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies have received scam reports regarding scams such as phone, tech support, email, virtual reality kidnapping and family members in jail. Scams come in all sorts of contacts, ranging from phone calls to emails and snail mail, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Sometimes they’re tough to spot, but they usually involve a stranger trying to gain access to personal information, home computers and financial accounts from which they can steal money, Barrett said.

The Federal Trade Commission advises us to look out for callers who try to create a sense of urgency or use high-pressure tactics.

That’s probably a scammer, the FTC says.

Another favorite scam is someone calling to offer a “refund,” or warranty rebate, Barrett said.

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“They’ll ask you if you were happy with their service. If you say you weren’t, the scammer offers a refund. But instead of depositing money into your account, they withdraw money,” Barrett said. Scams are more common now than ever, Barrett said.

Don’t ever provide financial or personal information to anyone over the phone, and notify law enforcement if you receive any type of computer scam or phone call that may be considered suspicious or threatening, Barrett said.

“If something seems suspicious, hang up and call a trusted source for confirmation,” Barrett said.

COMMON SCAMS

For a list of the more common scams and where to report them, go to:

Tech-support scams: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams

Common scams: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts.

To report internet crimes go to the FBI, http://www.ic3.gov.

Report fraud online in Colorado at http://www.stopfraudcolorado.gov.

To sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry, visit http://www.donotcall.gov.

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