Ojai Police are warning Ojai Valley residents of an increase in reported phone scams. The suspect(s) have been targeting elderly residents and posing as family members in need of large sums of money or an official calling on the behalf of the family member because they are in jail and need money to bail out. Victims have reported the suspect(s) request the victim(s) to send the money to locations in Vancouver, B.C. Canada, or overseas to countries in the Middle East.
If any area residents receive phone calls of this nature, or any other suspicious nature, they are encouraged to call law enforcement. This type of phone scam is one of many that occur throughout the year and increase during holiday seasons.
Here are some recommendations to protect yourself from telephone scams:
- Always know whom you are talking to and get information on the business and a call back number.
- Never provide your confidential information, such as date of birth, social security number, or bank account numbers.
- Discontinue transactions if someone coaches you on how to send money or respond to questions from money order service employees.
- Always check with other family members when a suspect calls and poses as a family member requesting money and call the family member the officials are talking about.
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to
the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller
may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).