Spike in phone scams targeting elderly - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Spike in phone scams targeting elderly

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By: Jenn Schanz

The old saying, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" is one a Davey woman luckily followed.

She didn't want us to use her name, but say she hopes her close call will serve as a cautionary tale.

It all started with a phone call; it was from Jamaica. The man on the other end told her she'd won nearly $400,000 and a new car, then he asked for some money.

The woman hung up, but when she called back out of curiosity, she says the man made her nervous.

"The man said 'honey you should not have hung up on me."

What he said next, was enough for her to call the sheriff.

"There'll be a car at your house to pick you up with a cashier's check, and you take us to your bank and we will deposit the check," she recalls the man saying. 

Sheriff officials say they've seen a spike in these types of scams. Generally, the elderly are the targets.

"They're more likely to have a land line telephone as opposed to just a cell phone only, and scammers know that they generally have their life savings," says Sheriff Terry Wagner. 

Officials say the best way to avoid scams is to never give out information if you're not the one who initiated the call.

They also say to remember, if you didn't enter a contest, you can't win.

And of course, they encourage anyone to report suspicious phone calls to authorities.

"I just think it's a shame that they prey on older people," says the woman. 

Despite not losing any money, she says she's now weary to answer the phone if the caller–id says unknown.

To sign your phone number up with the "Do Not Call" registry, click here: https://www.donotcall.gov/

It will stop certain solicitors from being able to access your number. 

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