Recent financial losses by area citizens, due to fraudulent phone calls generally targeting seniors, has City of Clinton Police concerned.
In one recent event, a Clinton woman was contacted by someone who said they were with Publisher’s Clearing House and she had just won a $25,000 prize. In order to claim the prize, the woman was told by the caller, she needed to send several hundred dollars to process her winnings. She did so, purchasing gift cards and reading the numbers off to the caller, only to never hear from the caller, or Publisher’s Clearing House, again.
“If you’re getting a call requiring you to send money in order to get money it’s a scam,” City of Clinton Police Chief John Willoughby said.
Worse was that in scams of this nature, there’s not anything the police can do, Willoughby said. He recommended anybody who has been scammed in such a way contact the state’s Attorney General’s office.
Another recent phone scam took place in Fairfield Bay and was reported to its City Council. A resident there received a call from someone who said they were a lawyer, that their grandson had been in a car accident and was being held on charges. They needed to, the supposed lawyer said, send money so their grandson could be bailed out.
The money, several thousand dollars, was sent per the caller’s request, only for the senders to find out shortly after sending it their grandson was safe and sound at home.
In nearby Conway, several have been taken in by work from home scams where they are sent a check for over the contracted amount, which they then deposit and forward the overage to another address. Within days the depositor gets a call from the bank that the check had bounced and the person hired them had disappeared.