DUNCANVILLE, Texas — Duncanville police are warning the community about a scam targeting elderly residents and other vulnerable people within the city, officials said.
In a news release Wednesday, police said officers were made aware of new methods that fraud suspects are using. This includes gifts being delivered to victims' homes to make the scam appear "more credible," police said.
Officials said the scammers have using unsolicited gifts to convince potential victims there is a larger prize to be had - but usually with a catch. The scams have been conducted via text, mail, online and over the phone, police said.
Duncanville police are warning residents that most scams begin with unsolicited contact from people pretending to be employees from various companies. These include government agencies, utility companies and the lottery commission. Police said in some cases, scammers even pose as friends or family members.
Officials are encouraging the community to follow these tips to avoid becoming a victim of these scams:
- Never trust caller ID. Identify the caller and the company or agency they represent. Ask questions, but don’t answer theirs.
- Verify what you are provided by researching that information yourself or by having someone you trust do so. If you are being pressured to provide personal information immediately, it should raise your suspicion.
- Don’t be surprised if, during phone scams, the caller becomes belligerent or hangs up when you want to verify their information. This is a good indication of an attempted scam.
- Don't give your personal or financial information in response to an unexpected request. Legitimate organizations won't call, email or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card numbers.
- Remember, if they are asking for money or for you to get the money it is most likely a scam. Legitimate organizations will also never ask to be paid by a gift card.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of fraud is asked to contact the Duncanville Police Department at 972-223-6111 ext. 3 to file a report. For additional information or resources call the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-372-8311.