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Tis The Season To Watch Out For Holiday Scams

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Sonora, CA — This time of year, the Grinches come out and try to steal your hard-earned money by using several types of scams, warn Tuolumne County Sheriff’s officials.

“We want to warn our community to be alert for scam attempts this holiday season,” advise Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Officials, who add, “We have recently been made aware of various phone and email scams affecting county residents.”

Sheriff’s officials provide three recent scam attempts that the public needs to be aware of:

  • Scammers calling, identifying themselves as a member of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, and requesting money for donations to be sent by mail as a money order, electronic fund transfer, or crypto currency.
  • Scammers calling, identifying themselves as a member of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, telling the resident they have a warrant for their arrest and requesting money in order to avoid arrest. Often, the scammer will request payment as a crypto currency or other unusual form of payment.
  • Scammers sending mail on behalf of the sheriff’s office requesting money for donations to be sent by mail, as a money order, electronic fund transfer, or other unusual form of payment.

Many of these scams involved getting personal information or using fear tactics, something the sheriff’s officials say they will never do and offer this list:

  • Will never ask you to pay money in order to avoid arrest/warrant.
  • The sheriff’s office is not soliciting donations by mail.
  • If you are ever in doubt about information, by mail or phone call, from someone claiming to be with Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, you can call our non-emergency line 209-533-5815 to confirm.

They also provided these additional red flags to look out for:

  • When asked to pay by any unusual payment systems such as crypto, electronic fund transfer, gift card, green dot card, money order, or peer-to-peer payment systems (PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, etc.), it may be a scam.
  • When asked to pay “upfront” for personally sold items/services, contest winnings, or a prize, it may be a scam.
  • Scammers attempt to rush and push their victims into making a decision without time to verify and thoughtfully consider the information. If someone is rushing/pushing you to make a decision, it may be a scam.
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