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East County News Service

June 15, 2015 (San Diego)—The San Diego Sheriff has issued this alert regarding scammers targeting the elderly in our region:

Recently an elderly male reported receiving a telephone call from a suspect claiming to be a representative of the Criminal Courts. The suspect told the victim he owed money for traffic tickets and demanded payment or the victim would be arrested. This type of telephone scam is commonly used to steal from the elderly and is a re-occurring problem.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department seeks to remind seniors that they should be wary of anyone attempting to collect money over the telephone. Seniors should write down the phone number, name of the person calling and report the activity to Law Enforcement.

If you have any questions about Financial Elder Abuse, please contact your local agency or the San Diego County Sheriff's Elder Abuse Unit at 858-974-2322.


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Could be a scam

Those who make such calls usually act like a network, so be very careful. If you're using a smartphone, some apps will give you information about unknown phone numbers, but you should note that they can copy your contacts. I usually use the free phone number inquiry service of This service is free and people give feedback. If there is no feedback about the number you are asking for, ask for information without hesitation, and people who see your question will answer the phone number.

Older People

This is a common thing that those scammers will target older people, because they will be more easily convinced by those scammers' speech. I found many complaints filed at telling that older people fall victims to these kind of scams. It is our main role to help those elderly to be aware of those scams. We must support them and tell them about all scam schemes and tricks, so that they, at least can be prepared if someday those scammers trying to reach them.

The elderly (and others)

should be advised never to take a phone call from anybody unless they recognize the caller. Catch the message electronically and then decide what to do. Generally scammers won't even leave a message. They want live pigeons. (I once worked in telemarketing so I know.)