Moorpark - Residents Warned of Phone Scams
3/10/2014 8:00:00 AM
Nature of Incident:
City of Moorpark, Ca. 93021
Date & Time:
February & March 2014
Moorpark Police Department, Investigations
In February and March of 2014, the Moorpark Investigations Unit received reports of and investigated several phone scams.
In the phone scams, the suspects are using a variety of stories to get the victims to wire money to a specific location. In one scam, victims received a call from someone purporting to be an IRS agent. The victim is told they have an unpaid tax bill, and they are directed to obtain a pre-loaded debit card or Green Dot Moneypak to pay the bill. The victim is threatened with arrest if they do not pay the bill. Often, the purported IRS agent becomes hostile or hangs up on the victim when questioned about the authenticity of the call.
Another phone scam that occurred recently involved a job offer to assist in the processing of cashier's checks. Victims are usually contacted via email or through a website such as Craigslist. They are asked to assist in the processing of cashier's checks. The victim agrees to receive a cashier's check in the mail. The victim deposits the cashier's check into their personal account, keeps a portion for themselves as a fee, and wires the remainder to another subject, who is often located outside of the United States. Within days or weeks of sending the wire transfer, the victim learns that the cashier's check was actually a counterfeit check, and the funds from the check were not received by the victim's bank. This results in the victim being responsible for all of the loss.
When investigating the scams, detectives learned that the overwhelming majority of the scammers are located outside of the country.
In order to avoid being the victim of a scam, Moorpark residents are encouraged to:
- Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an e-mail, specifically to an unfamiliar company or unknown person. Wiring money is like giving cash'once you send it, you can't get it back.
- Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
- Do not conduct financial transactions with someone you do not know.
- Ask questions. Remember, legitimate businesses will provide information about their companies when asked.
- If you have questions, stop and contact your local authorities.
Sergeant Eric Tennessen
Media Release Date:
March 10th, 2014
Sergeant Eric Tennessen 805-532-2716
Stephen Wade, Captain
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).