Over the past few weeks, citizens of South San Francisco have reported getting suspicious phone calls, messages or emails in what appears to be several different financial scams. The scam artist(s) appear to be calling from untraceable phone numbers or email addresses advising residents in South San Francisco that they are eligible/qualified for restructured home loans, or are asking people to re load money onto Green Dot gift cards in exchange for lottery winnings or new cars. In other cases, the suspect(s) are falsely identifying themselves as IRS agents and telling the victims they owe money to the IRS in back taxes. The scam artists then advises the victim he/she needs to wire or mail money/checks to them online. The phone numbers provided are usually disconnected or go straight to an answering service once the suspect receives the money. In two of these cases, the victims were scammed out of large sums of money.
Elderly victims tend to be the targets of phone and internet scams, however, there is no defined pattern in these cases as the victims are of different age groups. If you receive a phone call or emai l from an unknown person asking for personal information, obtain as much information as you can and report the incident to the police. Do not give out your address, banking institution, social security number or any other personal information. The non emergency )ine to The South San Francisco Police Department is 650-877-8900.