Danville Police are advising residents to be wary of telephone scams, which have become more sophisticated and common.
"Crime and criminals change and evolve. Creative bad guys have now branched out and begun working telephones scams as an easy way to get swindle victims out of money or private information," a release stated.
Police said the Danville area has experienced a rash of telephone scam calls recently. In many of the cases, the victim is called by someone claiming they are calling on behalf of a loved one or acquaintance. The scammer will claim that their loved one is in some sort of trouble, such as being in jail or having lost their wallet, then will say the victim is named as someone who would help. Police note that there will be a sense of urgency to these calls.
"Telephone scams work well because we are an information rich society. This means the bad guys will already have some specific information about their victims. They will be very polite and sound very official," the release continued.
Residents should be wary of calls that create a sense of urgency and panic, ask the victim to wire money, or request bank routing numbers or other financial information. Once a victim falls for a scam, they are very likely to be the subject of such scams again, police said.
Should you receive a call of this sort, police said to remain vigilant. Check with the relative or acquaintance in question, check the facts and make sure that what they are telling you makes sense -- if it doesn't, ask questions. Another way to be more secure is to establish a code word for family emergencies and ask the caller for the code. If they are unable to provide it, hang up and contact the police.
Danville Police encourage any person who is approached with a similar call to contact their local police department. In many cases, victims said that what they were being told didn't make sense, and yet they still allowed themselves to be fooled into sending money. Remember that if a story sounds odd, it likely is.
For more information on phone scams, contact Crime Prevention Specialist Carol Burroughs at 314-3700 or firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com.