Sheriff's Office

Scammer Safeguards During the Holidays

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office would like to warn residents to be aware of scams this holiday season where criminals pose as friends, family, respected companies and government agencies to get people to send money immediately.

Here are a few safeguards to follow:

  • A "Con-artist" is someone who makes a living by swindling kindhearted people. These criminals will lie, distract or persuade people into making split-second decisions. Use good judgment and confirm information before taking action. A "Con-artist" constantly looks for new ways to defraud the public. Do all you can to protect yourself from these thieves.
  • With caller ID, don't answer a call if you don't recognize the telephone number. Allow the unfamiliar caller to leave a message.
  • If you don't have caller ID or a message system, answer the phone and request the person identify themselves and provide you with a call-back number.
  • If the unwanted calls persist, tell the caller that you have already called your local law enforcement agency and they are investigating.
  • Do not post personal information on social networking sites. Never post addresses, telephone numbers and places you are visiting or planning to visit.
  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as members of organizations or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
  • Be aware of whom you are dealing with when providing your personal and financial information. Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
  • Do not send money through electronic services if you're called regarding a loved one that has been incarcerated in another county, state or country without verification of that family member's status.