News Story


Countywide - Residents cautioned about telephone scam
5/21/2012 8:16:00 AM


Nature of Incident:

Community Caution ' Watch out for Telephone Scams

Report Number:



County of Ventura

Date & Time:

May 18, 2012

Unit Responsible:

Thousand Oaks Police Department/Forgery and Fraud Unit


The Thousand Oaks Police Department is warning Ventura County residents of on-going telephone scams that have been targeting elderly residents or other susceptible victims.  Thousand Oaks Police have seen an increasing number of telephone scams where the criminal calls a resident and informs them that their family member is in jail in another country.  The criminal pretends to be a law enforcement official and advises the victim that they need to act quickly or their loved ones safety may be in jeopardy. Thousand Oaks Police Department officials have seen a majority of these fraudulent telephone calls originating from Canadian telephone area codes.  The fraudulent official requests that money by 'wired' via a major money wire transfer company (i.e. Western Union or MoneyGram) to an overseas location (in particular, Latin American countries.)  Within a short period of time, the funds can be paid out to the person receiving the wire transfer and the victim will have suffered a financial loss as a result of this telephone scam. 


Ventura County residents can protect themselves from this type of telephone scam by not proceeding with the transaction until you have personally confirmed an emergency situation (i.e. family member in jail.)  This can easily be done by calling the family member and checking on their welfare.  If the affected family member is unavailable then reach out to other family members or individuals who can assist you in this situation.


There are some helpful informational websites that can provide you with information regarding the various types of telephone scams as well as internet scams that criminals use to prey on the public.  To learn more about how to protect yourself from fraud, please visit:


Federal Trade Commission (Consumer Protection)                                             

Internet Crime Complaint Center                              


Western Union                                                          




Deputy Preparing Media Release:

Detective Ilano

Media Release Date:

May 18, 2012

Follow-Up Contact:

Detective Ilano, 805-494-8201

Approved by:

Captain Jim Fryhoff


Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).