Law enforcement warns of scams targeting the elderly

Published: Jan. 30, 2021 at 10:47 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The Wood County sheriff’s department is warning about multiple scams targeting the elderly.

Scammers are calling with spoof numbers to disguise themselves. This means scammers are making it look like they are calling from a different number than they actually are. They can make themselves look like neighbors, companies, or even family calling.

Sheriff Steve Stephens says scammers are pretending to be social security office workers, claiming that there is an issue with whoever they call’s account, and that they need personal information in order to fix it. Scammers are using similar tactics, pretending to be Medicare and Medicaid workers. Scammers pretending to be from Publishing Clearing House have even attempted to arrange to meet with someone at their house, Stephens reports.

Scammers have been posing as Mon Power as well.

If you ever get a suspicious call, Stephens says don’t engage in conversation, hang up immediately, and block the caller, if you can.

He also has some unconventional tips.

“I’ve even told people, if you start getting these phone calls, get you a whistle and blow the whistle into their ear in the phone. They’ll probably quit calling you because they don’t want to get their eardrum burst.”

Stephens encourages you to check on your elderly loved ones.

“People don’t want to feel stupid so they don’t want us to know they fell victim and that’s the sad part about it is and you know that’s why we’re asking the loved ones to check on their folks to make sure everything’s okay.”

If you are confused to whether it’s a scam or not, Stephens suggests calling your local police department’s non-emergency phone number so they can look into it for you.

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