The Trumbull Police Department would like to warn the public about a recent increase of scams targeting senior citizens. Even though the police may be made aware of these types of cases, they can be difficult to investigate because many times the suspects are in another country or quickly leave the scene where very little suspect information is available. Also, due to complexity of these cases, the victims most likely will not get their money or valuables their back.
There are numerous types of scams, and a few are described as follows:
- The caller claiming to be a family member that has an illness or was arrested. This caller will put urgency into helping them and tell the victim not to contact anyone, especially the police.
- The caller may claim to be a law enforcement official that has custody of the victim’s family member and would demand bail or funds for their release.
- The caller may claim to be law enforcement stating that the victim’s Social Security Number or Bank Accounts have been “compromised.” The caller will ask personal information to “verify” the identity of the person they are calling, getting the victim’s information including Social Security and bank account numbers.
- Random emails or texts with an urgent message are sent stating that one’s Social Security number, bank account, or any other personal accounts has been “compromised” and needs immediate attention.
- Distraction scams where suspect(s) “randomly” show up at the home of elderly residents pretending to be from a utility company, and then try to lure their way into the house. Once inside, one suspect will distract the victim, while another suspect will steal valuables.
If you receive a call you believe to be a scam:
- Resist the urge to act immediately no matter how dramatic the story is.
- Verify the caller’s identity. Ask questions that a stranger would not be able to answer. Check with a family member to see if the information is true.
- -Do not send cash, gift cards or conduct money transfers. Once the scammer gets the money, it’s gone!
- Do not give personal or bank account information by email, over the phone, or by logging into bank accounts as directed by the caller.
- Do not respond to random calls, emails, or text messages that contact you for personal information. Find the contact information on your own to verify the legitimacy of any random solicitation.
Please keep the following in mind:
- Do not let strangers into your home that have arrived unannounced and request access inside.
- Police agencies do not contact family for bail money.
- Neither Police agencies, nor the IRS, ask for money to fix Social Security or bank accounts, and they do not request gift cards for payment.
- Police agencies do not send text messages asking for account information as part of an investigation.
Police are asking senior citizens and their family members to be aware of these scams. Never send the money the caller is asking for, as you are unlikely to get it back. Protect your information and never provide banking information or log in to your accounts while the caller is on the phone. If you have parents or elderly people in your family, take the time to explain these scams to them.
The Trumbull Police Department would like everyone to be safe and not fall victim to scammers. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbors. Always remember, if you observe suspicious or illegal activity, call the police right away. To contact the Trumbull Police Department please call 203-261-3665, or dial 911 for all emergencies.