Several Lincoln County Seniors Targeted by Telephone Scams

By Beacon Staff

Various scams have been increasingly targeting Lincoln County senior citizens recently, according to authorities.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office announced that several telephone scams have emerged preying on elderly residents. Scammers are contacting seniors claiming to be grandchildren in trouble, in jail or seriously injured. The calls can be very convincing and intimidating, Sheriff Roby Bowe said. Several different scammers will get on the telephone claiming to represent police or an attorney, Bowe said.

The ruse, referred to as the “Grandparents Scam,” can be a common one across the nation and is responsible for considerable amounts of money lost, according to Bowe.

In a separate type of scam, several Lincoln County residents have reported being called at home by someone claiming to be from Microsoft technical support or Windows help desk, according to Bowe. These scammers claim they will fix a computer by providing malicious software that allows the person to access personal information. Microsoft has announced more details about the scam here.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents never to give out any personal or financial information over the telephone. Do not let them intimidate you, although they may sound very articulate and convincing, Bowe said.

Click here for more information about common scams.

The Montana Attorney General’s Office offers the following top 10 consumer fraud protection tips:

— Never give out personal information to someone soliciting from over the phone or Internet. Banks will never call and ask for your personal information.

— Never wire or give money to someone you don’t know. Even if you think it’s someone you know, follow-up to make sure before you wire any money.

— If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

— Get a security freeze on your credit by clicking here.

— Use common sense and do your due diligence: ask around, talk to others, call law enforcement or the attorney general’s office if you have any doubts or questions.

— Be skeptical, resist high pressure tactics and take your time.

— Ignore postcards and advertisements for free products, sweepstakes wins, magazine sales, etc. If you did not enter into the lottery or sweepstakes that is contacting you, you did not win.

— Register with the National Do Not Call Registry.

— Keep an eye on your bank and credit card statements. Be alert to small charges that may appear insignificant, but will add up over time.

— Shred any financial documents or other documents that contain personal information: Social Security numbers, birth dates, personal contact information, bank account or credit card information.

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