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Phone scams are happening in Yates

    YATES COUNTY—A number of Yates County residents have been contacted recently by telephone scams. Sheriff Ron Spike said in one recent incident, a Yates County resident was asked by a person falsely claiming to be a Federal Bureau of Investigations agent  to send $15,000 via Western Union. He explained this is a type of scam that is happening in different parts of the country; someone who falsely claims to be a law enforcement officer calls a resident and says they have won money, but that someone else got hold of it illegally. Spike said the caller then asks the resident to send money in order to claim the winnings. He added that in this case, the bank put a stop order on the money transfer.
    Other calls that some Yates County residents received have been from a person who falsely claims to represent a nationally known magazine sales company. Spike explained someone calls and claims the resident has won money, but that the taxes need to be paid on it first. He said the telemarketer might call it a “claim fee.”
    “Any time it’s legitimate, you don’t have to pay a fee,” said Spike. He added if a person calls requiring payment for a prize, “just hang up.”
    Spike said phone scammers will usually target older people and confuse them into sending money or giving out a credit card number. He added telephone scams use scare tactics to try and get people to act quickly and hastily.
    Besides knowing the basics of phone scams, Spike advised people to sign up with the National Do Not Call Registry ( He added if someone thinks they will get a lot of telephone calls, they can use an answering machine.
    According to the Federal Trade Commission, fraudulent telephone callers often use phrases like:
    “You’ve been specially selected to hear this offer.”
    “You’ll get a wonderful free bonus if you buy our product.”
    “You’ve won one of five valuable prizes.”
    “You must send money right away.”
    “You have to make up your mind right away.”
    “We’ll just put the shipping and handling charges on your credit card.”
    To report phone fraud, visit or call 1-877-382-4357.


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