By Mary O’KEEFE
Law enforcement cautions the public to be alert and aware of phone scams that have been occurring recently in the area.
Glendale police responded to a call yesterday when a resident received a phone call stating the person owed money for missing jury duty.
The caller claimed to be a lieutenant from the Grand Jury and told the resident she owed $401 for missing jury duty. He asked her to purchase a “green dot” card, a prepaid debit credit card. The caller already had the woman’s name, address and telephone number.
This is not the only recent incident. Other callers have contacted residents claiming they are from the Glendale Police Dept., Glendale Water and Power and, as occurred last week at a home on Henrietta, the Internal Revenue Service.
There have also been reports of a young man going door-to-door asking for donations for the Crescenta Valley High School baseball team. The CVHS team does not ask for donations in this manner, according to CVHS staff.
If someone receives a phone call where the caller asks for money, especially requesting a green dot card be purchased, the resident is advised to contact the local law enforcement agency.
If someone comes to the door asking for donations or a payment and they do not have the proper identification, or the resident feels thy are suspicious they are advised to call 911.
“If it is someone [claiming] to be from a government agency [including a police department] over the phone and asks you to purchase a green card it is 99.9% [guaranteed] they are not from the government agency,” said Sgt. Shoemaker, CV Sheriff’s Station.
A recent victim of a fraudulent IRS call stated that as she asked more questions the caller became agitated and aggressive threatening to have the FBI and other law enforcement come to the resident’s home if they do not pay over $1000.
“What a [resident] can do is to say [to the caller] ‘meet me at the CV Sheriff’s Station lobby and we will conduct the transaction there’,” Shoemaker suggested.
In that way the sheriff’s are directly involved. It is Shoemaker’s suspicion that the caller will not actually show up at the station.
The predator callers often have information on the resident including name and address. In some reported cases, they are able to obtain more information simply by phrasing the questions in a particular way, for example asking the resident to “verify” their social security number.
Law enforcement advises residents to trust their instinct, if it appears suspicious contact law enforcement and do not give any personal information over the phone.
Glendale Police Dept. (818) 548-4840 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s, CV Station (818) 248-3464 L.A. Police Dept. /Foothill Community Police Station (818) 756-8861.