Phone Scams Targeting Elderly On The Rise During Holidays

Written by Trevor Montgomery

Riverside County News Source


Everyone seems to know of or at least have heard about the danger related to phone scams. Unfortunately, some of the suspects who participate in these scams are so convincing they manage to fool enough people to cause a serious problem for those who fall for their illegal efforts to ruin people’s day and holiday spirit.

According to Sergeant Robert Duckett, of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, during the month of October and November, several incidents of different types of phone scams were reported to authorities.

The unknown suspects do their best to target the elderly and are known to use very strong and persuasive tactics to scare their targets into cooperating.

recent phone scams that have been reported have targeted victims for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

A common new scam running rampant through the valley and beyond right now is one where the suspects will call potential victims telling them they have failed repeatedly to appear for Jury Duty. The suspects then begin with threats of immediate arrest or the issuing of arrest warrants due to failing to appear for mandatory Jury Duty.

These suspects are very aggressive and tell the victim’s if they fail to immediately send money to pay for these supposed warrants for a failure to appear, they risk arrest, possible incarceration and huge fines.

According to Sgt. Duckett, since most of the elderly victims have never had any prior contact with law enforcement they are eager to prevent themselves being arrested and tend to cooperate fully with the suspect’s demands.

Sgt. Duckett stated the suspects have often identified themselves as, “Agents of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.”

In a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Sgt. Duckett wrote, “The Riverside County Sheriff Department would like to warn the public of these types of phone scams/fraud which increase around the holidays.”

Sgt. Duckett explained neither the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department nor the Riverside County Courts will ever call citizens asking for or demanding money. All correspondence regarding bills, fines and potential warrants related to a failure to appear would be sent through the postal service.

Sgt. Duckett reminds all citizens of Riverside County to never send money to anyone unless you are absolutely confident of the recipient.

Anyone with information about these incidents is encouraged to call Investigator Porrazzo at the Hemet Sheriff’s Station at (951) 791-3400. Callers can remain anonymous.


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