Tips on How to Avoid Phone Scams

Clatsop County Sheriff's Office on how to keep your identity and money safe
Avoid Phone Scams
Tips on Avoiding Phone Scams in Clatsop County

Keep your data, identity and money safe from phone scams with these tips from the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office:

There are many different types of phone scams but the main goal of a phone scammer is to:

  • Get your personal information
  • Get you to buy a visa/gift card, wire transfer or give your credit card or banking information to pay your fake fines 

Scammers falsely claim they are from places like the IRS, the courts, the police department, the Sheriff’s Office and other official agencies. 

Scammers do a little research online and give tidbits of true information in the call to make you you think it could be legitimate. They will even lie and use an officer’s name from the agency they claiming to be from.

They use technology to make your caller ID falsely show the name of the agency they are supposedly calling from. This is called “Spoofing". 

Some even set up a fake phone number for you to call back where you get a voicemail that sounds legitimate.

DO NOT Leave Information on Their Voicemails 
Once a scammer has you on the phone they will try to scare you. They will say things like “You have been charged with a crime” or “you have a warrant for your arrest and you must pay us.” They also may: 

Raise their voice, yell, use profanities or other threatening tactics.

  • Try to fluster you by creating a sense of urgency by talking fast, pushing for you to “do something right now!”
  • Try to get you to buy gift cards and give them your credit card and banking information
  • Try to get your personal and sensitive information. Do NOT give sensitive information such as Date of Birth, social security, home address, mailing address, bank account numbers.  Scammers use this to steal your identity. 

Stay Safe:

  • Do NOT answer a call from a number you don’t recognize!  Let it go to voicemail 
  • Question EVERY call:  Ask yourself if this could be a spam call. 
  • STOP! Do NOT give out personal or banking information, especially date of birth, social security number, or bank account numbers.
  • Block spam calls by silencing all unknown callers on your phone, installing a spam-filtering app and registering your number on the national Do Not Call Registry

Law Enforcement will:

  • NEVER call you if you have a warrant, fine or fee.
  • NEVER e-mail you if you have a warrant, fine or fee
  • NEVER Enforce tax law. We are NOT the IRS.
  • NEVER ask you to make a payment on the phone, with a gift card, money order.
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