Scams This Week 10/25/22

October 25, 2022

Once you’ve been targeted or have fallen victim to a scam, is that the end? Don’t count on it. Boise PD detectives often see repeat scam victims, so we want to make sure you and your loved ones are aware and vigilant.


Repeat Victims: Once you become a victim of a scam, scammers will continue to call until they are sure they have taken the most amount of money from you.  No matter what scam it is, it typically ends with threats. But is that really the end?   The answer is many times no, especially for the elderly population.  It is almost like once you have fallen victim to a scam, you go on a list.

As an example, months after falling victim to a Sweepstakes scam, stopping all communication, changing phone numbers, and blocking numbers, a victim was targeted with a warrant scam.  This was a cold contact on the victim’s new number. It is still unknown how that number was found, but the contact came from someone claiming to be from the US Marshalls. The scammer told the victim to expect to face federal charges due to the victim's involvement in money laundering.  The scammer either socially engineered the information out of the victim, or had previous information based on the last scam.  The scammer had enough information to scare the victim into a panic that they would be arrested. Luckily the victim’s family was vigilant and set up a plan if a scammer ever tried contacting them again.

As always I want to make sure you understand that you and your family will be targeted for a scam at some point, so starting the conversation before is the best defense. The key to having a plan in place, whether it’s the first scam or a new attempt.

Make sure you know:

  • What to do if there is a suspicious email, text, or phone call.
  • What to do if funds are being requested again.
  • Steps you can take in the future. You can put things in places like financial power of attorney and other checks and balances to keep your family members from becoming victims again.

In any scam, breaking contact with the scammer is the first thing that has to take place. After that, it’s important to report to all the appropriate financial and law enforcement institutions.  In all scams, there is some form of grooming and social engineering that occurs, so in many cases, you will have to break that manipulation before you can help.  If you can stop the manipulation ahead of time by having a plan in place, you are already helping. Even though these are tough conversations, they’re essential. Present your loved ones with the many real-life stories on the internet that can be used to help explain their situation. The Boise Police Department or any local police department can help you and will have resources.

If it happened once, it can happen again so stay vigilant.  Have the scam talk before your family members become victims.

Find more scam prevention tips on our website.

You can add Det. Thorne on Facebook or follow @DetThorneBPD on Twitter.

Contact: Boise Police Media Relations

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