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Moraga Police Department
Monday February 11th, 2019 :: 04:22 p.m. PST



Moraga residents are being targeted by scam artists.  Please do not fall for these crooks and their stories.  Here are the two popular ones this week:

·         You receive a call about your social security number being used by drug smugglers, money launderers or other criminals.  You are told that a warrant has been issued for your arrest and you must pay a fine/penalty or face your number and benefits being cancelled.  They provide instructions to pay the fine with Green Dot or Google Play cards and you are directed to a local CVS or other merchant to purchase the cards and call back with the card number.  Once they have the number, they transfer the money off of the cards within seconds.

·         You receive a call from someone claiming to be a relative in jail.  When you answer the call, you hear a sobbing or upset person who asks, “Grandma?” or “Grandpa?” to which you automatically reply with the name of your relative who you think is calling as you believe they are in trouble.  However, they now have a name and begin to spin a tale of being arrested, have an attorney and tell you that if you can send money, they can get out of jail.  Another person, their “attorney,” gets on the phone and provides instructions of where to send/wire the money.  Once the money is sent, it is basically gone.  A Moraga resident was scammed out of $10,000 this weekend.

These calls are very convincing and the people calling you are trying to scare the bejesus out of you so that you will send money.  DO NOT SEND THEM ANY MONEY!

Here are some tips:

·         If you receive a call from someone saying they are from a government agency and you think it is a scam, call the agency back after looking up the number in a phone directory, from your social security documents or the Internet. Do not use the number you receive from the person on the phone as it most likely fake.

·         Government agencies do not collect fees, fines or penalties via Google Play cards, Green Dot cards or any form other than a direct payment to the government agency.  If you owe money, you will have received numerous written communications from the agency…and, they do not collect via telephone calls during which they threaten arrest.

·         If you think a relative is in jail, do not keep secrets from their immediate relatives.  Find out what jail they are in and call directly to that facility using a number that you obtain from an official source – not the person on the telephone.  My wife’s grandmother was scammed when she thought our daughter was in jail…she was told not to tell anyone and lost over $8000. Had she contacted me or my wife, we could have told her that our daughter was safe at home, not in a Los Angeles jail cell.

·         Scammers will continue to call you – block their number and/or don’t answer the telephone, regardless of their threats.

·         If you have questions, call the Moraga Police and ask for help or come down to the Police Department.  We are here to help you and have prevented many people from losing thousands of dollars.

Thank you.  Please spread this information to anyone who you think should know about this.  Please also contact the Moraga Police Department with any questions or concerns about scams.

Jon King

Moraga Police Department
329 Rheem Blvd
Moraga, CA 94556

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 925-888-7055

Jon King
Moraga Police

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