Posted by Sandy Warren on Mar 05, 2019
Detective Details Multitude of Scams
That Target Seniors and Others
For centuries,criminals have sought out ways to separate innocent people from their money. Modern technologies such as the telephone and the Internet, while obviously very useful, even essential, have only provided new and more numerous ways to achieve that nefarious goal. At our meeting on Monday, March 4, Ventura County Sheriff's Detective Tim Lohman offered details of many of the latest scams that are often targeted toward seniors.
"I'm currently working 40 active cases," said Detective Lohman, "and each of them is like putting a puzzle together. People need to be educated on what to look for when they're checking email, using social media, or even answering their cell phone."
One of the most important tips he offered was the general advice to simply be very aware when you are contacted by someone you don't know. That contact could take the form of an email supposedly from your bank, or a voicemail from someone claiming to be with the IRS. Frequently, emails and calls such as these come with a request to provide personal information in order to help resolve a "problem" of some sort. If provided, the personal information will likely lead to unrecoverable loss of money.
Detective Lohman reviewed some of the many types of scams that people fall victim to on a daily basis, including fraudulent business opportunities, offers to share in sweepstakes winnings, fake kidnap/ransom threats, or phony alerts from Microsoft or Apple that your computer is infected with a virus that needs to be cleaned up. He even shared a photo of the young criminal convicted in one of the ever-popular schemes involving a "foreign prince" who needs help sheltering millions of dollars in a U.S. bank and just needs your checking account information to share the wealth with you.
"Do your research," said Detective Lohman. He suggests that you Google unfamiliar phone numbers that show up in emails or on caller ID - they will frequently come back as part of a scam. You can also use to find out where a particular image has shown up online, again, frequently as part of widespread fraud. In general, he counsels people to simply remain alert when it comes to technology. If you're the least bit suspicious of an email, a phone call, or a social media post, listen to your intuition.
The Sheriff's Department Fraud Hotline is 805-371-8327. Detective Lohman can also be reached directly at 805-494-8232 or