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Summit County Sheriff Department Warns Of Scams Conducted By Phone Call

Summit County Sheriff's Office

The Summit County Sheriff’s Department, in recent days, has received reports of a thief working from a phone—and another, breaking into local businesses at Kimball Junction.

The Sheriff’s incident report said that last Friday, the 22nd, they got a fraud report from a resident in the Highland Estates area. Lt. Andrew Wright said a caller from a Texas area code left a message telling the resident she could be arrested on a warrant.

When she called back, the suspect, giving a name and badge number, said her identity had been compromised and she needed to set up a new Social Security number. She was directed to buy $50 gift cards, valued to a total of $4,000 and to give him the card numbers. The resident did so, but later became suspicious and stopped contact with the caller.

Lt. Wright said they keep trying to put out a warning about phone fraud.

“When someone calls and requests you to go buy gift cards and provide those numbers over the phone in form of a payment to avoid legal action. I mean that is such a bizarre request that we would hope that that alone is enough to provide a red flag to someone. That they would realize OK this is most likely a scam and further that the federal government, the local government, no government agent would ever ask someone to provide payment over the phone. That is always done in person at a legitimate  government office.”

Meanwhile, on the night of the 22nd, dispatch received multiple notices of burglar alarms. A deputy responding to a package-shipping business at Redstone found a lock on the rear door was loose, although the door was locked.

Somehow though, said Lt. Wright, an intruder gained entry. A staffer at the business found they had surveillance video about 10 seconds, of a male subject going through the cash register. However, his face and hands were not visible.

Lt. Wright said they’ve posted images from the video on their Facebook.

Inspecting a food business next door, a deputy found a rear door had been damaged and opened and cash had been removed.

Lt. Wright said at another Redstone business, someone evidently tried to tamper with a security panel.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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