A 77-year-old Chino Valley resident called Monday, June 15, 2015, to report fraud by phone. The man told deputies that on Thursday, June 11, 2015, he received a cell phone call from a number with an 876 area code. This area code identifies the country of Jamaica which is a home base for suspects who victimize thousands each year. The suspect/caller told the Chino Valley man he had just won a Publisher’s Clearing House award but needed to send $3500 in processing fees to claim his prize. The victim went to a local community bank, obtained a cashier’s check in the requested amount and sent it to an address in Wisconsin as directed. He later realized he had been scammed.
The deputy contacted the local police department in the Wisconsin community where the house is located and advised that scam proceeds were being sent to this particular address. Officers at this agency agreed to investigate once our completed report is received.
Again, any unsolicited calls from an 876 number will likely involve a scam. Also, you are NEVER required to pay money up front if you have won a prize in a legitimate sweepstakes.
YCSO will continue to issue fraud alerts like this in the hope we can stop this activity in its tracks. We have had calls from residents recently who avoided being scammed because of knowledge about the techniques read in media reports. In most cases these scams target our senior population and many were simply not aware of the activity. YCSO encourages those who have older family and friends to share these scam alerts with the targeted group.
A great resource guide is available from YCSO – go to www.ycsoaz.gov and under the News and Events section you find a link to the “Little Book of Scams.” You can review the guide online or download to print and share with others.
With your help we can prevent further victims from being scammed. Also remember to check out the Internet Crime Complaint Center hosted by the FBI. Victims can report activity and stay up to date on the latest scams – see http://www.ic3.gov/media/default.aspx.