Douglas County authorities are issuing an alert after phone scammers convinced two residents to purchase $2,900 in gift cards and read the card numbers to them.
In one instance reported to the Douglas Count Sheriff's Office, a resident received a phone call from someone claiming to be from Apple Computer who claimed their computer had been compromised.
The caller ID also stated it was Apple Inc. so the resident felt it was legitimate. The scam caller claimed he would be working on the computer remotely. After the scam caller claimed it was repaired, he asked for a service plan to be purchased for future protection. The scam caller instructed to victim to purchase $400 in iTunes gift cards, which was done, and gift card numbers were given to the scam caller. The scam caller immediately redeemed the card with no services given.
In the second instance, a resident received a phone call from a scam caller claiming to be a grandson, and then later a call from a male who claimed to be the attorney for the grandson who was handling his arrest for DUI. The scam caller wanted gift cards for handling the incident and then her grandson would be released. The loss was $2,500 in WalMart gift cards.
According to the FBI, senior citizens are targeted for several reasons.
They are perceived to have a "nest egg" in cash, own their home, and have excellent credit.
Seniors were raised in their generation to be polite and trusting. Con artists use these traits to exploit their victims.
Older Americans are less likely to report that they have been scammed, due to a lack of knowledge of who to report it to, or simply embarrassment. Sometimes older Americans have memory problems and cannot remember important details to be an effective witness to assist law enforcement in finding the criminal.
The sheriff's office wants to remind the public that phone scammers are working 24/7 trying to obtain your money.
Never answer personal questions, never tell a stranger your bank information, Social Security information, or Medicare numbers. It's tax season so the scam callers are using "The IRS is calling." These are all scams trying to obtain money. The public is encouraged to hang up on these calls. We also encourage those reading this information to reach out to family, friends and neighbors and share this information on these ruthless scammers preying on the population