Citizens, be wary! A recent surge of new scams have deceived and conned Santa Clarita Valley residents and Southern Californians.
Earlier this week, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Department released a Public Safety Advisory in an effort to raise awareness and arm citizens against the ongoing scams.
Jail inmates and other con artists have been scamming residents by calling their phones and claiming to be a deputy, telling them that a loved one has been incarcerated and provided their phone number as a contact.
The scammer then provides a phone number beginning with *72 that the victim should call to find out more information.
Victims that proceed to call the phone number are then told they have misdialed and have the wrong number.
In reality, the prefix *72 activates call forwarding. All the victim’s incoming calls will be forwarded to the scammer’s phone number.
The forwarded calls are then billed to the victim until they deactivate call forwarding, which can be turned off by dialing *73.
Jail inmates commit this scam in order to receive collect calls and avoid paying for them.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s department advises that should a resident receive a call claiming a loved one is in jail, one should contact the SCV Sheriff’s Crime Prevention Unit to verify.
Scammers have also approached victims asking to help cash a winning lottery ticket because they are not U.S. citizens.
They ask the victims to cash the fake lottery ticket in exchange for a share of the prize, but must provide a large sum of money or valuables as collateral.
After receiving collateral, the scammers vanish.
As a reminder, U.S. citizenship nor assistance are needed to cash a lottery ticket, and the California Lottery does not require collateral.
View the full Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Department Public Safety Advisory here.