Telephone scams abound during current quarantine

HEATHSVILLE—During a month with many residents spending an unusual amount of time at home, the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) has received more than 12 calls regarding a particular type of telephone/internet scam.

Many of the victims have been elderly. Most of these scams involve asking the victim to pay for unrealized goods or services with “gift cards” from various large-scale businesses. Examples are eBay, Apple, Amazon and Walmart gift cards.

Please know and help inform elder relatives and friends that no legitimate business transactions should take place with someone asking folks to buy gift cards and send them the code on the back, reported Major Allen Garland of the NCSO.

“We have recently seen computer repair services, a vehicle, a boat and even a puppy be fraudulently ‘sold’ to victims locally where the victim purchases up to $2,000 worth of gift cards at the request of the ‘seller’ and sends the ‘seller’ of the item the codes on the back,” said Major Garland. “The funds on the cards are immediately either spent or transferred to another card by the ‘seller’ and of course no vehicle, boat or puppy ever arrive.”

Those who suspect they have been a victim of one of these scams should report it to a local law enforcement agency. In Northumberland County, call 580-5221. In Lancaster County, call 462-5111.

“Please be mindful and remember what your mother told you: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said Major Garland.