Recent telephone scams nothing new | SteamboatToday.com
Alexis DeLaCruz

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Recent telephone scams nothing new

A South Routt woman reported receiving a phone call from a company last week alerting her that she had won a grant. Then the caller asked for her Social Security number.

Routt County Sheriff John Warner said that the telephone call was legitimate and that the woman had received a grant she applied for, but he was concerned about the manner in which the company asked for her confirmation.

Frequently, people are receiving telephone calls from companies asking for their personal information.

Identity theft is a national issue. Oftentimes, people are calling potential victims and requesting personal information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and dates of birth, instead of contacting them by mail or e-mail.

In the past few weeks, local police records show several residents concerned about suspicious phone calls alerting them that they had won grants and then asking for banking and other personal information.

“People need to know to never, ever give out any information over the phone unless they have verified the credibility of the company and the reason they are calling,” Warner said.

Steamboat Springs police Capt. Joel Rae said the issue of identity-theft attempts is not a new trend but an existing trend of which people need to be aware.

“People should raise their suspicions of people who call and ask for information over the phone, because you never know who is legitimate or not,” Rae said.

The issue of identity theft was a hot topic earlier this month at a community meeting hosted by police. Officers warned about identity theft and talked about ways people can protect themselves.

Warner said people are taken advantage of easily by telephone because callers usually are smooth talkers who are very excited to tell people they’ve won something. He warned to not be swayed by the voice on the other line.

“Most reputable companies and organization don’t solicit or try to get donations or information over the phone,” Warner said.

If someone asks for your bank account information or Social Security number over the phone, be cautious, because it might be a scam.

–To reach Alexis DeLaCruz call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com