Parachute police warn about phone scams

Parachute police are warning residents about two phone scams.

In one of them a caller has been telling victims a family member is being held in a Mexican jail, and the victims are told to wire money to pay for bail and a flight back to the United States.

Police Sgt. Bo Harrison said police were able to stop one wiring transaction for $1,800 after another family member suggested a targeted victim call police first before finalizing the transaction.

“Unfortunately, other people have not been so fortunate and the wired money transactions were unable to be stopped or reversed,” police said in a news release.

Harrison said it’s his understanding that in making calls, the scammer knows a fair amount of information about the family member supposedly traveling in Mexico. However, the relative of the recent near-victim turned out to be in the United States, he said.

A second scam involves both male and female voices saying a billing error has occurred, the victim owes a payment for utility service and the service will be shut off immediately if money isn’t wired.

At least one of the callers referred to Xcel Energy. Harrison said one caller reportedly referred to WPX Energy, but it’s not clear if the reporting party was mistaken or the scammer confused WPX Energy with a utility. WPX is involved in oil and gas production.


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