A series of scammers targeting Sedgwick County residents have one thing in common: the phone.
Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett is asking residents who receive fraudulent calls to contact his office’s Consumer Protection Division at 316-660-3653. Phone scams recently reported include:
• Callers demanding money to pay fines for missed jury duty or to clear up warrants for tax fraud.
• Automated calls saying the consumers’ credit cards have been deactivated.
• Callers claiming to be computer technicians who want to fix error codes remotely.
• The grandparent scam: A caller asks an elderly person to send bail money because he’s been arrested and jailed in another country.
More than a third of complaints filed in 2013 involved telephone scams – up 25 percent over the previous year, Bennett said in a news release, citing a National Consumers League report. Many scammers, he said, use software or automated dialers to mask their identities.
He advised local residents to treat each call with suspicion and to avoid giving out personal information unless they initiated the call.