The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reminds the public to stay vigilant against phone scams.
Three recent variations of phone scams have been targeting Humboldt County residents.
- Cloney’s Pharmacy Scam
A scammer, whose caller ID reportedly shows up as Cloney’s Pharmacy in Eureka, has been contacting community members requesting Social Security numbers and other personal information.
- Social Security Investigation Scam
A scammer who claims to be a Social Security investigator has been reportedly contacting community members threatening to “shut off” their Social Security card due to criminal activity. The scammer requests Social Security numbers and other personal information from victims.
- Publishers Clearing House Scam
A scammer claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House has been reportedly contacting community members and telling them that they have won a car or other high-value prize. The scammer goes on to request personal information and instructs the victim to not tell anyone about the interaction.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public of a few tips to help protect yourself from fraud:
- Spot imposters
Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company with which you do business. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request – whether it comes as a text, a phone call or an email. If a scammer is impersonating a loved one or government official, call back at a publicly listed number for the organization from which the scammer claims to be or contact your loved one directly.
- Do online searches
Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “Social Security call” or “grandparent scam.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.
- Don’t believe your caller ID
Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up.
- Talk to someone
Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.
- Don’t rely on personal information
Living in the digital age, access to information is easier than ever. Scammers are often able to get their hands on very personal information, including the names, ages, and addresses of your loved ones, providing it to their victims to make their scam look more legitimate. Don’t trust a scammer who is able to provide your or your loved one’s personal information.
Sign up for the Federal Trade Commission’s scam alerts at ftc.gov/scams.
Visit https://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds#item-35157 to learn how to report scams.