MADISON, Wis. — Madison police said Wednesday that scams targeting elderly people are growing more sophisticated.
Police said there has been an uptick in scams targeting elderly victims in the area. The scams tend to begin with a caller claiming to be a family member in need.
The scammer will ask potential victims to give them money immediately or ask for credit card or bank information. Police said scammers will also ask victims to send them money through a Bitcoin ATM.
The warning comes just days after police said an elderly couple was scammed out of several thousand dollars someone showed up to their doorstep and claimed their daughter was in jail.
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Police said this use of a “courier” is becoming more common. A scammer will ask for money and then send someone to the victim’s home to collect it.
Here are a few tips Madison police shared to avoid getting scammed:
- If you get a call from an unknown number claiming to be a relative, hang up and call the relative from a known number.
- If someone calls you saying they’re in legal trouble or in jail, ask where they are then call that facility to confirm.
- If you are asked to make a transaction at a Bitcoin ATM or other ATM, verify all information before doing so.
- Government officials will never ask you to pay fines or fees using gift cards. Do not read off gift card codes to callers over the phone.
- Never give out personal information, such as your bank account or Social Security number, to people you don’t know or trust.
If you think you’ve been scammed while in Madison, contact police at 608-255-2345.
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