Scammers bilk residents out of thousands of dollars

By Staff Report


The Delta County Sheriff's Office would like to remind people to be very cautious when dealing with individuals requesting money over the phone. In a one-week period at least two Delta County residents were victims of fraudulent scams.

On April 15, a couple from the Hotchkiss area was contacted by the Delta County Sheriff's Office "warrant division." The caller told this couple there were warrants for their arrest due to failure to appear for jury duty. The caller advised they could turn themselves in to the sheriff's office or they could pay close to $1,000 each over the phone and the warrant would go away.

The couple was directed to buy two Visa gift cards for approximately $1,000. They would be contacted for the information and the warrant would be vacated. Unfortunately this couple did just that and is now out close to $2,000.

The Delta County Sheriff's Office, and other law enforcement agencies, will never contact someone and request money over the phone. Please be suspicious of ANYBODY requesting any amount of money over the phone.

On April 26, a couple from the Delta area received a call claiming they had won the lotto. However, they needed to send money to pay for taxes and other expenses before they could claim their winnings. This couple sent over $50,000 before the bank became suspicious and contacted law enforcement.

"This is another commonly used scam," said Delta County Undersheriff Mark Taylor. "We also encourage people to be very cautious when someone claims you need to pay money before receiving money.

"The Delta County Sheriff's Office unfortunately receives citizen complaints all the time that they have been the victim of scams and have lost large sums of money. We would like to remind people the scammers are very good at what they do. Even after all the warnings on TV, in newspapers and on the Internet about scammers, people still seem to think they can get something for nothing. Please be very cautious and investigate before you send money or give your personal information to anyone over the phone."