Angels Camp, CA – Within the last two weeks the Angels Camp police department has been informed of several mail and telephone scams that are occurring in the area.
According to Police Chief, Todd Fordahl, the mail scam is fairly obvious; the potential victim receives a letter indicating that a friend recently passed away in a foreign country, and that a large sum of money is being “willed” to the person receiving the letter. Included in the letter are contact information and a request to keep the matter confidential. Chief Fordahl says, “These scams typically originate in foreign countries.”
Chief Fordahl describes two recent telephone scam attempts, occurring days apart, as “more alarming.” In the phone call the suspect (in both of the recent cases a male) identifies himself by name as a family member or a close friend, and advises that he has been arrested in a foreign country and needs money to bail out of jail. In one of the cases the suspect identified himself as a close family friend. He stated that he was arrested in a foreign country that the victim knew was recently visited by their friend.
A request was made, in both cases, to wire money via Western Union. Several follow-up calls were made by the suspect to ensure that the money would be sent.
Fordahl notes that the recent targets of these scams are elderly residents. His advice; “Please do not provide anyone that calls you or otherwise contacts you with any personal information. Do not attempt to send money without first confirming facts. Confirmation can be as simple as hanging up the phone and calling the person that the suspect is identifying himself as. Notify the police and request that a police report be taken.”