The Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive many reports of different types of scams being conducted in our community. Because it is tax time, the tax scam callers are in full swing! Take extra caution about providing your personal information over the phone to an unknown caller. The IRS does not contact you by phone! Scammers have gotten very sophisticated, including having the ability to modify Caller IDs to appear to be coming from just about any number, including individuals, companies, even the Sheriff’s Office if they wanted to.

Another is an unknown subject calls and identifies as a Deputies or an employee of the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office. Remember, the caller ID may even show a County phone number. They report to the caller that a warrant has been issued or will be issued if a fine is not immediately paid. Please be aware these are not real law enforcement officers.

Family Emergency Impostors Scams. Impostors claim to be friends or family members in distress or having car issues out of state, to trick consumers into wiring money. A recent variation is someone who calls and says they are a relative or calling for a relative that has been arrested and needs money to get bailed out. Again, these are not who they profess to be.

Yet another is a Computer Tech Support Scam. Scammers may call and advise they are from Microsoft and have detected a problem with your computer and offer free “security” scans and may have set up fake websites – all to convince you that your computer is infected. The scammers may contact you via the computer and try to get you on the phone, and then work to convince you there’s a problem. Finally, they ask you to pay them to fix that non-existent problem or ask for your passwords or IDs to get into your computer.

A recent rash of calls have indicated they were from your cellphone carrier or bank, and that your account had been suspended. Once they have you on the phone they ask you for your PIN or password to verify and to reactivate your account. Lt. Gordon McCraw reports he recently received one, “Not only did the caller ID show Customer Service, it was actually AT&T’s Customer Service phone number.”

Finally, never give out your PIN, social security number or your password to an unknown individual that calls you on the phone. Hang up, then look up the actual number of the business, family member, or person that has reported to have called you to verify the information. Another give-away is these scammers ask you to get prepaid debit cards do a wire transfer money into their account.