Sheriff’s warning about scammers: They want your personal information and your money | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo by Deb Gau Sheriff Eric Wallen handed out pamphlets with tips on recognizing common scams and avoiding identity theft during a conference at Hill Street Place on Wednesday. Hill Street residents invited Wallen to be a speaker at one of their monthly chautauqua events.

MARSHALL — Scam attempts have taken many different forms over the years, Lyon County Sheriff Eric Wallen said. Trends often follow the evolution of technology.

” Things are moving forward. When I started in this job, it was phone calls,” Wallen said. As email, online sales, and social media have become more common, online scams have also proliferated.

But regardless of the details of the scheme, the people who scam always want the same things — your personal information and your money, Wallen told residents of Hill Street Place on Wednesday.

The residents invited Wallen to be one of their monthly chautauqua speakers. He gave a talk on fraud prevention and how to recognize common scams.

Reports of phone or online scams in Lyon County seem to come in from time to time, but it’s still a persistent problem, Wallen said. Often, fraudulent activity goes unreported to law enforcement, he said. If a person doesn’t fall for a scam call, they may simply hang up and never think to report it.

There are several types of scams that have become well known, Wallen said. Over the past couple of years, scammers asking for some sort of payment in gift cards have become more common.

“A lot of times these people ask you to go to Walmart or Target and buy gift cards,” he said. Once the victim gives the scammer the information on the back of the gift card, the scammer will use it to make purchases.

“It’s a quick way for them to get the money,” Wallen said. And once a gift card has been redeemed, “There’s no way to really follow that.”

Wallen said area residents should also be alert to scammers pretending to be members of local law enforcement, demanding payment of a fine. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office or local police departments will not call you and tell you to make a payment over the phone, Wallen said.

Wallen said law enforcement has received scam reports where the scammers claim to be from the IRS.

“The IRS is not calling anyone” Wallen said. “They always start with some kind of written communication.”

Other common types of scams include calls from someone claiming to be a parent who is in jail and needs money, or emails from someone claiming to need help getting their money out of jail. ‘A strange country.

Wallen said area residents can also take steps to protect their personal information and avoid being the target of fraud or identity theft.

“Be careful who you talk to about your personal life”, especially on social media accounts, Wallen said. Other ways to protect your identity include collecting your mail promptly and shredding documents containing personal or financial information before discarding them.

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