Crime

Sheriff warns citizens of fraudulent calls

Sheriff John Anderson is warning residents about a cold caller phoning citizens, and claiming to be their grandson.

The most recent scam occurred Friday, when an 82-year old Coarsegold woman received a call from (559)640-7072. The person on the other end told her he had been in an accident and needed her to wire him $1,000.00

He even gave her a phone number to call back as he waited for her to complete the transaction.

Fortunately family members found out before any money changed hands.

Deputies believe the caller could be using a Google voice phone number. And even though the prefix is a local area code, that doesn’t mean the caller is necessarily from the South Valley.

Google voice phone offers free PC-to-phone calling, and can be used for a wide range of reasons, including buying and selling on eBay or Craigslist. When people call the number it’s forwarded to your cell phone, allowing you to track your callers/clients, but they can’t track you.

Sheriff Anderson says this is yet another method being used to defraud our citizens.

Deputies believe the suspect may have pulled the victim’s name (as well as her grandson’s name) from a recent obituary.

Sheriff Anderson is urging citizens to be cautious. “If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be a relative with an urgent plea for cash, more than likely, it’s a scam.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Madera County Sheriff’s Office at 559-675-7770 or CRIME STOPPERS at 498-STOP.

-Madera County Sheriff's Office

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