Reno Police see Increase in Phone Scams over the Holidays
Over the last several weeks Reno Police has taken numerous reports from citizens who have lost money to phone scammers. Some of the phone scams reported to local police in our area have been scammers telling people they have warrants for their arrest, or a family member has been arrested, and to send money to prevent any further action. Additional scams we have seen in our area are IRS, NV Energy, and Publisher Clearing House scams.
After a lengthy and legitimate sounding phone call, the victims agree to send a money order, or provide their bank account information. After the victims have given money to the scammers, the victim contacts local authorities or their family member and discover they have been scammed.
The Reno Police Department wants to remind our community of some basic safety tips when they receive calls from potential scammers.
- Be wary if you are being asked to act immediately. Scammers typically try to push you into action before you have had time to think.
- The IRS, NV Energy and local law enforcement doesn't call text or email for money over the phone. You will be contacted in person or by mail.
- Don't wire money or use a prepaid debit card. Scammers often pressure people into wiring money or using a prepaid debit card. It's like sending cash: once it's gone, you can't trace it.
- If it sounds too good to be true it normally is.
- If you won a prize from any legitimate company or business, you do not have to send money to get money.
- Ask the person on the other end for verification of who they are, and mail you information before agreeing to send any money to them.
Reno Police also want to encourage anyone who has elderly friends or family to discuss these phone scams with them and to advise them to not send any money to these scammers.
Citizens are encouraged to report the incident involving persons claiming to be with IRS to the Department of the Treasury at 800-366-4484 or on line at ortigta.gov. Anyone who has been a victim of these phones scams in Reno is asked to file a report with Reno Police.