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Scams Hitting Mother Lode

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Sonora, CA – The Sonora Police Department is calling 2014 the “Year of the scammer”. Already the Mother Lode has been hit with several new and old swindles. Police warn never give out personal information over the phone or internet if someone solicits it.

Police have already taken reports from two victims on a scam that involves the classifieds and a money order. The ad seeks a personal assistant for $310 a week. Once the job seeker replies via email, a money order for $1,730 with instructions comes in via FedEx. Police say the money order appeared to be from the Texas State Bank. The victims were told to deposit the money orders into their accounts, take 10% for themselves, and then wire the remaining amount through Western Union to a China address. Police says once the money order is deposited, the thief empties the accounts.

Also, now that it is tax season there is a phone scam going around. In this scam, a female caller claims to be from H&R Block’s corporate office. She says she will file your taxes for you electronically for only $50 and if you do not get a return, you get $50 back. Then she asks for your bank account number and your routing number to electronically deposit your refund of the $50. Once they have your banking information, your account is drained. This scam goes to a phone junction in Florida, and then it is transferred to Canada.

Police reported just last week that a person reported being a victim of the old “Grand Parents’ or relative needing bail money scam, it hit Tuolumne County in May of last year. The call come from Canada or Mexico and the person claims your relative is in jail and needs you to wire bail money immediately. Sonora Police advise you instead make a quick call to relatives to find out if it is true.

Police warn never deposit a check you received for no reason and always verify any information.
If you question any mailings, phone calls or emails you can call the Sonora Police Department at 209-532-8141.