FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — Reports of phone scams are a daily occurrence in Fairport according to Police Chief Sam Farina.
Scammers want access to your money and they are ruthless. “They claim to be the IRS,” Chief Farina said of their tactics. “They claim to be the police. They claim to be Social Security. They claim to be Medicare.”
Chief Farina says they often target the elderly and they are hard to catch. “Most of the offenders are from overseas. So they’re not here. We can’t bring them to justice.”
That’s why awareness and prevention are key. “If you don’t recognize a phone number that comes into your phone don’t answer it,” said Chief Farina.
Be on the lookout for scam calls, texts, emails, and letters. Chief Farina said even the Police Department is not immune. “We’ve all here at the Fairport police have received letters that we’re trying to collect unemployment. So we’ve also been a victim of that as well.”
Open-source information – things that are public – like your name, current and past phone numbers, and the names of family members – make it easier for scammers to trick people. Chief Farina says scammers will make you believe a family member is in need of money. Never give out your personal information unless you initiate the contact. “We’re here for folks who feel like they may be under extensive pressure during the course of a phone call and they want us to help verify that. We’d be happy to do that.”
Chief Farina added by calling police you can help them identify the call patterns of scammers. Fairport police officers work with the FBI to track phone numbers and the scammers behind them.