Sheriff's Department: Local Residents Victims of Scams

The sheriff's department offers tips to avoid being the next victim.

(Patch Archive)
(Patch Archive)

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department - Lake Elsinore Station, in cooperation with the Riverside County Department of Adult Protective Services, would like to remind community members to be very skeptical of unsolicited telephone calls from phony businesses, banking institutions, foreign countries, or government agencies where promises or threats are made.     

Recently, several of our community members have fallen victim to very convincing fraud schemes involving mortgage assistance, outstanding tax collection, foreign government assistance, and even to companies promising to return money lost in similar scams.  These scams almost always request money be paid up front for services, or the threat of arrest, eviction or property seizure is made.   Our older community members are most often targeted and victimized in these cases.

Just in the last week, a 76-year-old victim received an unsolicited telephone call from an individual claiming to be an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collection agent.  This phony agent said as a result of an audit of her 2008-2012 tax returns, she owed $4950. The phony agent convinced the victim she needed to take care of the matter immediately, or she would be arrested, taken to jail, have her assets frozen and her property seized. 

The phony agent stayed on the telephone with the victim as she traveled to a local grocery store.  At the grocery store, she was instructed to purchase numerous GreenDot Prepaid Credit Cards.  The phony agent then instructed the victim to provide the GreenDot Credit Card numbers immediately.  Shortly after providing the numbers and pulling the money off the cards, the phony agent telephoned the victim again and said additional funds were needed to avoid a lien on her personal residence. The victim repeated the process and more money was stolen.

Community members are strongly encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency, or an allied government agency, before providing these scammers any money or personal information.  Riverside County residents who are 65 years or older, or dependent adults (18 to 64 years old) can contact the Department of Public Social Services Adult Services Division CARE (Curtailing Abuse Related to the Elderly) Program at any time for assistance.  CARE provides education to seniors and dependent adults, and one-on-one advocacy to those who need assistance filing complaints with regulatory or investigating agencies.

Community members are encouraged to contact the following agencies for assistance:

  • Riverside County Sheriff's Department – Lake Elsinore Station
    (951) 245-3300
  • California Department of Consumer Affairs
    (800) 952-5210
  • State of California Department of Justice - Office of the Attorney General
    (800) 952-5225
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
    (800) 289-9999

Tips for avoiding common fraud schemes can be located on the following Federal Bureau of Investigation website:  www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud

The Lake Elsinore Sheriff's Station continues to investigate phony companies and scammers that victimize the community members we serve.  If you believe you were victimized, or have any questions, please contact Investigator Holder at (951) 245-3119, or by email at LakeElsinoreStation@RiversideSheriff.org

Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff's CrimeTips online form.

--Information from Riverside County Sheriff's Department

MayISeeYourPapers June 27, 2014 at 01:43 PM
A fool and their money are quickly parted. I guess it's a good move getting rid of the home phone and only answering calls that I know who is on the other end. Here's a word to the wise, just because it rings doesn't mean you have to answer it. Same goes for the front door.
Edward E. June 27, 2014 at 10:09 PM
People need to do their research.
Christopher Koda June 28, 2014 at 01:10 PM
This is what I posted a while back about green dot. "I just got off the phone with Green Dot Money Pack. Concerning a fraudulent charge that too the money from the card and found out they cannot protect you against a fraud. The company that defrauded me was AppleLiveSupport.com at phone number 800-721-0981. They have nothing to do with Apple. Do not use this company at anytime. Please pass this on. The person whose name is attached to this phone number is Douglas Orchard from Spider Mill, CT." Do not use green dot as they do not check the recipients out and could care lesss if they are being used in a scam. LikeLike · · Promote · Share
Sega Rolow June 29, 2014 at 01:34 AM
Very sad... Watch out... When you get a call like this.. Just say.. I need to tape the call. So The Police will hear it.. End of call.


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