Moorpark - Police Department Creates Phone Scam Hotline
5/1/2014 10:00:00 AM
Nature of Incident:
Moorpark Police Department Creates Phone Scam Hotline
City of Moorpark
Date & Time:
May 1, 2014
Moorpark Police Department Investigations Unit
During late 2013 and early 2014, the Moorpark Police Department investigated numerous scams targeting citizens of Moorpark. The scams generally target elderly citizens and citizens of Hispanic descent who speak little or no English. The scams include IRS phone scams, loan scams, utility bill scams, diamond scams, lottery scams, and the relative in an accident in Mexico scam.
As a result of the investigations, detectives conducted public outreach directed at specific segments of our population. In order to connect with senior citizens, we conducted a presentation at the senior center advising of typical scams that target senior citizens. In order to connect with members of the Hispanic community, we made several information alert fliers in Spanish and distributed them at businesses frequented by members of the Hispanic community.
Throughout the numerous investigations, detectives learned that almost all of the scammers request the victims purchase 'Green Dot' money cards and make payments through the cards, or send money via Western Union. To combat this, we've met with managers at Moorpark businesses where victims were directed to purchase gift cards or send money. The purpose of the meetings was two-fold; (1) To educate store employees on the potential criminal scams so they could warn customers who were at their stores to buy the gift cards, and, (2) Have local businesses place informational fliers at the point of sale of the gift cards, informing victims of potential scams before they made the purchase and lose money.
Finally, the Moorpark Police Department recently created a Phone Scam Hotline. This hotline was developed to provide Moorpark citizens with the latest information on various scams affecting residents of Moorpark. The hotline provides information in Spanish or English, and if residents wish to speak to an investigator, they can leave a message and their call will be returned promptly. The information on the hotline will be updated as changes occur in the types of scams occurring in Moorpark.
The Moorpark Police Department's Phone Scam Hotline can be reached by dialing 805-299-1566 and pressing 1 for Spanish or staying on the line for English. As a reminder, residents should call 911 for any emergencies, and for non-emergencies call 805-654-9511. To reach the Moorpark Police Department general number at 610 Spring Road, Moorpark CA. please call 805-532-2700.
Sergeant Eric Tennessen
Media Release Date:
May 1st, 2014
Eric Tennessen, Sergeant
Steve 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).