BPD has received an increase in reports involving scammers taking advantage of local, mostly elderly, residents.
The ruses scammers use vary, they impersonate commonly-known entities such as the IRS, Social Security Administration, DEA, local police, Entergy etc. but the bottom line is the same; they are convincing victims that they are in some kind of legal trouble and will be arrested if they do not comply with their instructions.
The method of obtaining money from the victim also varies. BPD has seen cases where the victim is told to mail cash to an address out of state, purchase gift cards and provide the numbers off the cards, provide bank account information, etc.
"PLEASE recognize that no legitimate business/government agency operates this way!!" BPD warned. "NEVER send money or give bank account information to anyone, no matter who they are claiming to be. If you have family members who are elderly, please remind them that they are prime targets due to their age and willingness to do the right thing.
"The scammers are sophisticated and gather information on potential victims, so that their story sounds more believable. They also use technology, such as spoofing a caller ID to read "Beaumont Police" (or whatever agency they are impersonating) and use voice over internet protocol systems to make the phone call difficult to trace.
"The variations of scams stretch as far as you can imagine, but we caution anyone who receives calls/emails/text in which someone is trying to obtain personal information or money, to be aware of the possibility that you may be getting scammed. Hang up and call that agency to verify the information you received."