June 18, 2018
NEWS RELEASE - SCAM PHONE CALLS
Over the past few days, unknown persons, who are posing as members of the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office have phoned local residents threatening to arrest them and asking for money. THESE ARE SCAM CALLS. No one from the Sheriff’s Office will call members of the public in this manner to solicit money.
Unfortunately, the number of scam phone calls continues to increase both locally and nationwide. There are many types of scam calls and some of these calls are coming from what appear to be local land line or cellular phone numbers.
Please contact our office if you receive a phone call from anyone representing themselves as a member of our office who is asking for money for any reason.
Consider the following tips if you receive a suspicious phone call:
1. If your phone rings, whether you recognize the number or you don’t, you are not obligated to answer - If the caller ID displays a number you’re not familiar with, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with ignoring it. If it was an important phone call, they’ll leave a voicemail. You can choose whether or not to call back after hearing the message.
2. You don’t have to call back - That might seem obvious if the message is a marketing or sales call, but what if the caller says they’re from the IRS, or the courts, or law enforcement, and that you’re in legal trouble for not filing your taxes, or you have a warrant? That kind of message is harder to ignore, and far too many victims of tax and other frauds scams return that call and eventually send money.
3. Greetings are often the trigger for the scam phone call -
Beware when there is a silence or a delay after you answer the phone and say “Hello”. Why does this happen? The first hello triggers the scammer’s automated software to realize that a connection has been made. If you say “Hello” again, the human scammer has time to step in and join the call. Try to answer only once and wait. If you don’t hear anything more, just hang up.
4. If you suspect the call is suspicious, try to put the caller on the defensive and make them answer questions - If they ask for your name or other information, respond by saying something like, “What is the nature of your call?” or “Who am I speaking with?” If they’re a legitimate caller, they should be able to give you good answers. If they’re a scammer, they won’t. They’ll be less likely to launch into their sales pitch, and many times, they will hang up.
5. No one is entitled to your personal information over the phone - When someone calls you and tells you to verify your identity, or state your account number, or any similar request, simply tell them “No”, or say, “I don’t give out that information over the phone.” Remember, they called you, and if they are a legitimate business, they should already have your information. Take their name, company name, and direct phone number. Try an Internet search to verify the actual phone number for the company, and if you do call back, use that phone number. You might find that the “urgent” problem with your account actually doesn’t exist when you speak to the legitimate company.
For more information on phone scams, see the link below to the Federal Trade Commission's website -