YUMA, Ariz. - Sheriff Leon N. Wilmot would like to remind the community of ongoing phone scams that continue to occur in Yuma County.
In recent days, the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office has received calls in reference to the IRS scam; this scam takes advantage of most Americans’ inherent fear of the Internal Revenue Service. The phone call purports to be from the police or an IRS agent who is demanding payment for overdue taxes. If they’re not settled immediately, the call claims, you’ll be arrested. They’ll want the money either wired or put on prepaid card.
Below is a list of scams that have been reported in Yuma County in the past.
Grandparent scam: You get a phone call from someone posing as a grandchild who is supposedly out of town and in a desperate situation. They could claim to be locked in jail, have had a car accident or are in need of medical treatment. They’ll want money wired to them.
Jury duty scam: This time the call is supposedly from someone at the courthouse who claims you failed to report for jury duty and a warrant has been issued for your arrest. You’re then offered a choice to either pay for the warrant or have an officer sent over to arrest you. The fraudsters will typically demand that the money be paid by money transfer or by loading a prepaid card. They have been known to use actual names of local Officers and Judges in the scam to make it seem legitimate. Scammers have gone as far as using devices that allow them to display local law enforcement phone numbers on your caller ID’s.
Lottery scam: While the other scams prey on fear and concern, this one aims to convince you that you’ve won money in foreign lottery. Never mind that you can’t recall ever entering one. The call will come from someone who sounds official. They’ll ask for a payment up-front for supposed taxes and fees so you can collect your winnings.
Utility scam: This is another fear-based scam that involves convincing you that the utility company is about to cut off service due to unpaid bills. The scammers will naturally want money sent to them by money transfer or a prepaid card.
If you believe you have been a victim, please contact your local law enforcement agency.