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Tuolumne County Fraud Alert

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Sonora, CA– Over the past few weeks, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous reports regarding telephone and email scams.

Sgt. Jeff Wilson says the suspects often call elderly people and claim to be a grandchild. They will then tell the victim that they are in jail in another state or foreign country and need money to get out.

There are also other versions of this kind of fraud. Sometimes the caller, still claiming to be a relative, will say that they are vacationing in another country and just had their luggage and money stolen. Then they ask for money to get home.

The Sheriff’s Office wants Tuolumne County residents to be aware of these scams. They recommend that if you receive a request for money or personal information, to verify the caller’s identity and situation before acting.

If the caller is a legitimate relation, other family members will be aware of the dilemma. The legitimate caller will also know a correct birth date, place of birth and other information such as a mother’s maiden name. Requesting a call back number is also recommended.

If the caller is a scammer, they will be very reluctant or unable to answer questions. This also applies to people calling or emailing and claiming to be employees of a bank or credit card company. Ask them to send their request via postal mail on a company letterhead.

“Remember when dealing with scams, a little common sense goes a long way,” says Sgt. Wilson. ” If you take your time and verify the caller’s story, you won’t be taken advantage of.”

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