Stopping scammers short Sheriff discusses how to deal with scams

“The key thing is so many citizens are so nice. It’s hard to hang up on somebody. … I hate to see citizens lose anything on this. They prey on our kindness here.” —Jason Johnson, Butler County Sheriff

Scammers have not given up, and if anything, their tactics have grown more successful, as the Federal Trade Commission reported this spring that of the 1.1 million people who reported fraud in 2017, 21 percent said they had lost a total of over $905 million to scammers, $63 million more than the year before. The year’s top fraud was Imposter Scams, with nearly 350,000 reports. One in five people who reported an imposter scam lost money, totaling $328 million.

     Butler County Sheriff Jason Johnson said his office deals with scams multiple times weekly, if not on a daily basis. Within the county, imposter scams and warrant scams are now most common.

     In an imposter scam, a grandparent or parent receives a call that a child or grandchild, say “Jane,” has been arrested. The supposed police officer in another country or another state says Jane needs bail money to get out. They’ll even let the victim speak with Jane for a moment.

     “It doesn’t matter who is on the other end—it’s a psychological thing—their head will convert to hear her voice since they want to hear it,” Johnson said.


Read more in the July 12 edition of the TRIBUNE.