Brown Co. Sheriff warns of new scams in communities



TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Residents of Brown Co. have been warned by Sheriff John Merchant of new scams circulating in the area.

John Merchant, Brown County Sheriff said he was made aware of various scams circulating in the county and wanted to advise residents to be careful when receiving calls or emails from unrecognized numbers or addresses.

Sheriff Merchant said several residents had informed him that they had been contacted by phone by someone claiming to be a representative of DISH or DIRECTV and offering half of their monthly bill.

The merchant said the caller already knew he was talking to someone who has DISH or DIRECTV, so residents believe the call may be real. He said the appellant then requested 6 months upfront payment in EBAY or Walmart gift cards. He said the caller usually has a serious accident overseas and when asked how to pay he gets angry and threatens to interrupt the service.

The sheriff said several residents also told him their caller IDs displayed DIRECTV when the scammer called. When checking with the company, he said they advised against soliciting such offers. He said never to trust caller ID because any name or number can appear on a phone.

Merchant said another reported scam is where residents were contacted by phone by someone claiming to be from a collection agency and informing them that there is a debt and that the documents will be sent in a few minutes. days. Several days later, he said residents were receiving official-looking documents from FedEx that looked like a legitimate invoice for outdated debt.

However, Merchant said the letter did not disclose the reason for the debt, but indicated that if payment was not received within 10 days, legal action would take place. He said there is an address listed as payment is requested by debit or credit card. When residents try to call the number listed, it says no one answers but a message is left on an answering machine.

So far, the sheriff has said no one fell victim to the second scam he was made aware of.

The merchant said residents should remember that scammers can show any number or identity on caller ID, so they should never trust caller ID. unless they can check who’s on the other end of the phone. If the caller is not recognizable, he says to hang up immediately.

Merchant said the crooks are highly skilled at finding common ground to strike up a conversation so that they can manipulate residents with their hard-earned cash. They also do their homework, he says, targeting elderly residents or those who have difficulty making decisions.

In many cases, the Sheriff Merchant said that the crooks have already found information about their victims through internet searches so that they have a good idea of ​​what is going on in the lives of their victims.

The merchant said anyone who receives a fraudulent call should report it to the Kansas attorney general’s office. HERE.

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