Phone scams on the rise in Acadiana

Eye on Scams

CROWLEY, La. (KLFY)- Thieves are finding new ways to get your hard-earned money, and they’re targeting the elderly. ​

Acadia Parish Sheriff K.P. Gibson is sending out a warning about phone scams. Although these types of scams happen nationwide, he wants to remind residents to check on family members, particularly the elderly, who are most targeted by scammers.

“There shouldn’t be nothing private between family to make sure that someone isn’t trying to scam you and steal your life savings,” ​Sheriff Gibson said.

In the last month, scams involving the Publishers’ Clearing House Sweepstakes, the IRS, outstanding warrants and Facebook have all been reported in Acadiana.​​

“It’s either an intimidation aspect to make you fearful and pay it, or it’s to make you believe that you’ve won something where it’s like, wow, an excitement and trying to get your prize,” added Sheriff Gibson.​

Gibson says paying attention to elderly family members’ bank accounts daily may be necessary, as they may not want to talk about the issue out of fear, especially if they have been threatened by the scammers. ​
“A scammer’s job is to get you excited, build you up or make fear in you to where you take the action of sending money to them for whatever cause that they’re trying to do,” he said.

When in doubt, residents should call law enforcement to answer questions or get more guidance on scam protection, Gibson added.
​Here are tips from the Better Business Bureau to help you avoid these phone scams:

  • Don’t give out your personal information over the phone or email until you have verified the person asking for it.​
  • Don’t trust your caller ID. ​
  • Many scammers “spoof” phone numbers to make you trust them.​

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