Over the past several weeks, numerous residents have reported being victims of scams and have collectively lost tens of thousands of dollars. The most common scams being reported are the Utility Company Scam, the IRS Scam, and the Account Verification Scam. Unfortunately, there are numerous other types of scams out there, so beware!
In an effort to educate Ojai Valley residents about the scams affecting our community, we are attempting to reach as many of our residents as possible.
Here are a few tips to help keep you from getting scammed:
- If a deal seems too good to be true, it is.
- If someone unexpectedly contacts you for whatever reason and instructs you to pay for a bill, good, service, bail, hospital bill, etc. by gift card, phone app, wiring money, or providing bank account info, it’s probably a scam. If they make it sound extremely urgent and that you must immediately pay, it’s definitely a scam.
- Scammers can easily “spoof” phone numbers so that the name and number that display on your caller ID appear to be a legitimate company name and phone number. If someone calls you claiming to be from a legitimate company and asks you for personal or account information, it’s probably a scam. Hang up the phone, obtain a legitimate number for the company by checking their website or looking on your bill, and call that number.
If you’re not sure if it’s a scam, please call the Ojai Police Department for advice at (805) 477-7040.
if you have been subject to an online scam, whether you fell for it or not, you can report it to ic3.gov, which is the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.