Local News

Ottawa police warn of common phone, internet scams

Never send gift cards, or wire cash to an unknown caller

Ottawa Police Department

The Ottawa Police Department has seen an uptick in telephone and internet related scams in the last few months.

The vast majority of these scams are carried out in hopes of obtaining personal or banking information from the victim, said Ottawa Police Detective Sgt. Kyle Booras.

One common automated telephone call prompts the person receiving the call to purchase an extended warranty on a car. If the victim selects the prompt to purchase a warranty, they are often connected to a live “agent” who will then obtain personal information connected to Social Security numbers, bank cards, or credit cards as part of the scam.

Another common scam seen throughout the Ottawa area occurs when people claiming to be with the Amazon or Apple fraud departments contact the victim claiming they are support and contacting them to verify passcodes or other important information, Booras said. Many of the scammers will claim they are wanting the victim to confirm an order, but need specific personal information to cancel it if it is fictitious.

Many of these calls come from numbers that appear on a caller ID, but do not actually exist with the true number calling being masked by the fake number, Booras said.

Often the caller will ask for payment with gift cards and money orders. Never send gift cards or wire cash to any people you are not familiar with, Booras warned.

These online and telephone scams can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission at reportfraud.ftc.gov