Those offshore phone scammers are really piling on across the country – the 876 area code (Jamaica) is certainly working unwary Lincoln County residents.
Here at NewsLincolnCounty.com we’re getting phone calls from residents from all over Lincoln County reporting that they’re getting the full range of scams from “Your son is on vacation in Belize and he’s been arrested and needs bail money,” to “You’ve just won $3.5 million in the lottery and for $499 we’ll throw in a new Mercedes Benz.” And of course they want the money and the credit card number that goes along with it. And that means they got your money and the number that they turn around and sell to “ID Theft Wholesalers.” The wholesalers sell it to those who can retail them to others who use them on line or over the phone to buy merchandise that later shows up on your monthly credit card bill.
One caller today said she was contacted by an area code 876 scammer who told her she’d won some money and instructed her to pick up a $5,000 check at Ray’s grocery just down the street. So the scammers do a little bit of homework learning the area – in this case, Waldport – to get potential victims to drop their guard.
Common advice from law enforcement is that when you get these kinds of phone calls, hang up. You don’t even have to say goodbye. Hang up and write down the caller ID #. Then call your local police of sheriff’s office and tell them what happened. Same for anyone who calls and says there’s a warrant out for your arrest because you didn’t show up for court on a legal matter. And the IRS scammers who claim you owe back taxes and a warrant will be issued for your arrest if you don’t pay up. NEITHER THE IRS NOR LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTACTS CITIZENS BY PHONE. IT’S ALWAYS BY MAIL. IF law enforcement has a warrant for your arrest THEY KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR! It’s the way it’s done. They don’t mess around.
Something else. If you’ve got elderly family members or friends who might fall victim to these phone scammers, sit down with them and explain that nobody wins the lottery over the phone and to NEVER, EVER give personal financial information, like credit card numbers, to anyone you don’t know. And again, if someone calls and what they say sounds too good to be true IT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. HANG UP and report the call to your local law enforcement agency. Here are the numbers:
Newport Police: 541-265-4231
Lincoln County Sheriff: 541-265-4277
Lincoln City Police 541-994-3636