SnoCo Sheriff's Office Warns of Common Scams

Bonnie Johnson - Sunday, April 21, 2019
SnoCo Sheriff's Office Warns of Common Scams

Trending Scams in Snohomish County

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s office is floating out information on common scams being reported at this time. Not detailed are the persevering “portfolio recovery scam”, “Medicare scam”, and student loan scams.

“Legitimate government agencies, non-profits and companies will never call and demand payment or personal information (credit card/bank account/social security numbers) over the phone.” If it sounds fishy, follow your instincts

The Debt Collector Scam: These tend to come as alarming calls about a younger person in your family – niece, great-nephew, grandchild, etc., falsely claiming an emergency (like bail or medical expenses) and request for financial assistance in the form of a wire transfer to a foreign country. Scammers will ask you to wire money, send a prepaid card or give card information over the phone.

What to do: Hang up. No debt collector overseas or not, has the legal right to seek collections from someone other than the debtor.

The “we are having a problem with your account or card” scam: A convincing message, in the form of a call, text or letter from a fake financial institution claiming issues with your account, then seeking to elicit account information from you.

What to do: Do not engage. Reach out to the financial institution they’re pretending to be and verify your account security.

The Romance Scam: Nothing romantic about this. These come in the form of online announcements or invitations to complete an easy to fill out form which will be submitted on your behalf to or The popular account fields can easily be used to for identity theft on fraud. These scams tend to be perpetrated against widows/widowers and older people.

What to do: In general, never provide too many details for dating sites online. No last name, place of birth, place of employment, etc. Even on legitimate dating sites, never provide this level of detail to potential suitors.

The IRS Scam: Someone impersonating the IRS will reach out to you, demanding payment on back taxes. They can sound convincing, and will likely even have personal details about you, like the last four of your social security number, home address, or items of that nature.

What to do: Do not engage. Hang up or toss the fake mailer they make have sent. Contact the IRS to verify that your information has not been compromised.

Package Delivery scam: Someone shows up at your door, possibly after calling to inform you of an incoming package. They won’t be able to tell you the originating address or name of the sending, and will have a card reader handy for a “verification fee” for you to pay.

What to do: Shut the door and promptly call 911.


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