Sheriffs warn of scammers posing as companies

Upper North Fork resident reports scam phone call to authorities

Lane County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) has released a statement warning residents to be aware of potential scammers soliciting information or credit card numbers from county residents.

“The sheriff’s office has received reports that community members have received calls from someone identifying themselves as their insurance provider or their satellite network provider,” said LCSO Public Information Officer Sgt. Carrie Carver.

According to Carver, the scammers ask the community member several questions in effort to help “clear up an issue” with their account.

“Callers so far have recognized the call as a scam, but some have provided information that may put them at risk for identity theft,” she said.

On Wednesday, an Upper North Fork resident, who asked to remain anonymous, reported to the Siuslaw News that he had been speaking to authorities about a situation he perceived as a scam.

Jan. 27, 2018 — The man said he was called at home one morning by an individual claiming to be a representative of Dish Network.

The caller was a woman who offered to upgrade his viewing package. She said the upgrade would cost $160 and he could pay for the improved service package over the phone with a credit or debit card.

The man told her he would consider an upgrade, but was only willing to pay $100.

At that time, the caller turned him over to a supposed “tech” associate who attempted to coerce the man into providing his financial information, which he declined.

He then called Dish Network and inquired as to the nature and validity of the call he had received.

Dish representatives assured the resident that their policies would never entail a call from a tech person and took information to assist the company in tracking down the unauthorized caller.

After talking with Dish’s actual representatives, the man contacted the Oregon Attorney General’s office and filed an official report.

LCSO reminds residents they should not provide personal information to companies who have called unsolicited.

Personal information includes full name, maiden name, birthdate, social security number (in full or in part), address, banking institution, bank account numbers, credit card numbers or names and information of loved ones.

Signs that a call is a scam include threats of harm or arrest if the person does not comply with a monetary transaction, demands for money in the form of gift cards or un-trackable “money cards” or demands for information that the company should already have if the person is a current customer.

According to LCSO’s report, the North Fork resident acted correctly. If someone is unsure whether a call is a scam,they should hang up and contact the company at their publicly listed phone number.

“These calls can be scary, especially if the caller threatens your safety if you don’t pay or provide personal information,” Carver said. “If something doesn’t seem right, phone a friend and tell them about the call before you provide any information or money to the callers.

“We are hoping that if community members start talking about these scams with each other, they will become more recognizable as being fraudulent and we can prevent others from becoming victims.” 

Carver also said if someone is the victim of a scam call and has lost money as a result, they should report the incident to their local law enforcement agency.

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